Logbook: January 2017

A New Year has started also in the Finnish Game industry. Since there seems to be need for more detailed info on what is happening in Neogames, we decided to start keeping this Logbook to give all the readers some idea of what we are up to. Our ambitious goal is that in the future we would write at the end of every month, very shortly, about what we have been doing during the previous month and which things we have been concentrating on.
Neogames has started the year 2017 with a new chair Sonja Ängeslevä. Sonja has been a member of the board for a couple of years and she was voted as chair in Neogames’ annual meeting in December 2016. Sonja has already had a great impact on our operations.
On the operational side, the main focus of our activities in January has been on three big projects;

Finnish Game Industry report
We started to gather information for the Finnish Game Industry study already on October 2016. In total, we have been interviewing 148 Finnish Game Studios for this study. Regarding the study, we have also updated the number and information of existing and active Finnish game studios (also in to our web page).  During January, we have been processing and analysing the data we have collected for the study.
Our reports have been known for their great visuals. There are two obvious reasons for that; the fabulous materials that Finnish Game Developers are providing us (this year again in total 14.2G and 1117 files) and our trusted and talented artist/graphic designer Ari Kuusisto. In January, we have been designing the new outlook for the study and witnessed the new impressive covers to be born.
Finnish Game Awards
Already in December we have started preparations regarding our biggest event of the year; Finnish Game Awards. The event is organized in co-operation with Suomen Pelinkehittäjät Ry. However, Neogames is taking the responsibility on operational level. By the end of January, we have managed to set the date, book the venue and collect the sponsor money. Regarding the awards, we have conducted the listing of Finnish, globally launched games on year 2016. The awards voting will be based on that list.
Game Connection America trade mission
Trade missions are an important part of the industry, where 95% of the turnover is coming from export. During the history of Neogames we have been organizing over 50 trade missions. For several years, we have been visiting in GDC and Game Connection San Francisco. This year, Neogames is operating a trade mission for Nordic Developers to Game Connection America.  In GC There will be 13 companies with booths + 5 participants with passes.
And of course there is going to be a Nordic Party. Nordic party is organized by our Swedish equivalent, Dataspelbranschen.
Our Danish equivalent, Interactive Denmark is organizing Nordic lounge in GDC expo. Both of these are open also for Finnish GDC participants. We’ll inform you about the practicalities during February.
In addition to Game Connection, we are also gathering the information of the Finnish Game Studios participating to GDC/Game Connection and sharing this information for potential partners (like publishers, M&A partners and investors). That’s one of the things we always do in trade missions.
Miscellaneous regular business
January is the time for strategic planning and that´s what we have been doing. 2017 looks at this point obscure since some parts of our funding are not quite clear yet. Due to that, meetings with ministries have been quite regular.
One big slow moving task has been the reform of working permit legislation and practicalities in co-operation with Ministry of Interior, Migri, Helsinki Chamber of Commerce and several others. Changing the system is going to be one of the most important strategic goals for Neogames in 2017 and we hope that in the beginning of 2018 hiring people from abroad (outside ETA area) is way easier than it is now.
On SoMe we are constantly monitoring our biggest social media channel Play Finland on Facebook (4800+ members). We are conducting a weekly newsletter of the posts in Play Finland. Due to the newsletter, it’s easy to point out the highlights of the week, new releases and open jobs.
On the EU lobbying / EGDF side, the biggest tasks have been promoting Creative Europe call, finalizing the new EGDF website, participating in digital contract rights regulation hearing of Ministry of Justice, participating in refit meeting of European consumer law group in Brussels and meetings with several stakeholders in Helsinki and Brussels. These meetings are of great importance since the output from these discussions is used to define European level regulation in the future.
All in all, a relatively busy month after long Christmas holidays.
If there is something more you want to know, please ask. We are also open for feedback.
Sincerely Yours,
KooPee, Suvi & JP