According to estimates by Neogames, from 1995 to 2018 there have been over 600 Finnish game studios, 200 of which were active in game development at the end of year 2020.
The aim of this study is to provide an overview, as accurate as possible, of the Finnish Game Industry. To serve that aim, the Neogames´ database, used as background material when compiling this study, contains only the studios that are active in game development. However, keeping up an entirely accurate database of all active game companies is virtually impossible for multiple reasons: Statistics Finland has no definitive classification for game developer studios, setting up a new game studio is relatively easy, and game developers can sometimes be in stealth mode for years before going public, and quite often studios just discontinue their active business but remain still on active status in the business register. As an anecdote, Terramarque, a game studio established in 1993, is still listed as active in the business register, though it merged with Bloodhouse already in 1995 to form Housemarque, the oldest Finnish game studio still operating.
The listing indicating the number of active studios, clearly shows that the growth spurt of the Finnish Game Industry started after 2010 following the rise of mobile gaming. In the top year of 2014, there were 260 active studios, vast majority of them developing mobile games. Since then, the number of active studios has steadily decreased, mainly because competing on global markets has become more difficult and the threshold for setting up a new studio is higher.
For the first time since the early 00s, more than 50 % of Finnish game studios are again located in the Capital Region. The major game industry hubs outside the Capital Region (by headcount) are Tampere, Oulu, Turku and Kajaani. There are vibrant industry hubs also in Jyväskylä, Kotka and Kuopio.
Outside the Capital Region, regional capitals seem to be hotspots of the game industry in their respective regions. This reflects the general development of Finnish society. Cities with educational opportunities like universities and universities of applied sciences are attractive, especially for a younger, more game-oriented generation.
In terms of economic significance and financial value, the Capital Region is still well ahead of other areas. 96 % of the industry’s turnover is generated by companies located in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa (97 % in 2018). However, all major industry hubs have companies making more than €1 million annual turnover and all the regions have one or several examples of successful game studios.
The number of people employed has increased slightly in almost all regions since the last study. Around 79 % of all employees work in the Capital Region (75 % in 2018), and all large companies employing more than 250 people are located in Helsinki or Espoo. The biggest studio by headcount outside the Capital Region is Oulu-based Fingersoft.
A comprehensive, up to date list of active Finnish game studios can be found on the Neogames website.