Neogames has published a new report – read the whole report here.
The turnover of the Finnish Game Industry exceeded €3 billion in 2021
The outlook of Finnish Game Industry for both 2021 and 2022 is very positive across almost all metrics. In 2021, the industry’s turnover grew to approximately €3.2 billion, an increase of over 30% from the previous year. According to Neogames, the turnover in 2022 is expected to remain at the same level, €3.2 billion. Finnish Game Industry is very profitable; in 2021, the industry’s operating profit was €0.9 billion. The operating profit for 2022 is not yet known.
With these figures, the Finnish Game Industry ranks among the five largest game industries in Europe and is a leading developer of mobile games.
Remote work and need for more talent
The Finnish Game Industry is also a significant and continuously growing employer. In 2022, the Finnish Game Industry employed over 4,000 people in Finland and abroad for the first time, and the total number of employees in the industry was estimated to be about 4,100 at the end of 2022, an increase of about 500 people from the end of 2020.
However, a shortage of skilled workers remains one of the industry’s most significant challenges. Game companies estimate a need for approximately 500 to 1,300 new employees over the next couple of years. The Finnish Game Industry also recruits from abroad, and over the last two years, the proportion of foreign workers in Finnish studios has increased by a couple of percentage points from 28% to 30%. Foreigners are recruited almost exclusively as specialists, whose availability in Finland is low. In recent years, game companies have also organized their training programs aimed at those interested in working in the game industry.
According to a survey, remote work practices learned during the COVID-19 will continue even after the pandemic. Approximately 35% of game industry employees still work primarily remotely, and it appears that remote work is here to stay. This suits the nature of the industry well, and both employees and employers have adapted well to the change.
Growth in the number of studios, some changes in platforms
The number of game studios has also returned to growth, and Finnish game developers are now establishing new companies. At the end of 2022, there were an estimated 232 active Finnish game studios, and a total of 46 new game studios were founded during the pandemic years of 2021-2022. This development is exceptional compared to many other industries and emphasizes the game industry’s resilience even during challenging times.
In contrast, the number of newly released games has been declining for several years. In the mid-2010s, there were about 150 new game releases per year. According to Neogames’ statistics, about 50 games were released in 2021 and 2022 per year. This trend is due to the studios’ adaptation to the international trend of the game-as-a-service model. The life cycle of games is lengthening, and companies are focusing on the continued development of existing games. Launching new games is expensive, with stiff market competition, and for example, changes in Apple’s privacy policies which will further increase the cost of user acquisition. The challenges in the mobile game market are also reflected in the popularity of development platforms. Finland is known as a developer of mobile games, but PC is now almost as popular a platform (64%) as mobile devices (66%). Multi-platform game development is common in Finland, with 59% of studios developing games for two or more platforms.
Innovation is essential for the game industry’s survival
Finnish game developers are actively exploring new opportunities in the game market, such as artificial intelligence, web3, new platforms, diverse monetization models, and user-generated content. Game studios are closely following the rapid development of creative AI, but practical applications in game development processes are still in progress. AI is expected to greatly enhance production cost efficiency and create increasingly personalized game experiences.
The game industry is also closely monitoring the economic development of the coming years. Recession, Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and the decreasing availability of investments will also pose challenges for the Finnish Game Industry in the coming years. Despite these threats, the overall trend in the Finnish Game Industry is positive. Over the past year, there have been concerns about the future difficulties of the mobile game industry. Mobile winter may be looming to some extent, but we Finns are familiar with winter. We have always managed to survive it.
Neogames Finland Association / KooPee Hiltunen / 040-5324176 / firstname.lastname@example.org