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Finnish games industry employed over 3,000, brought in over $2b in 2018

Employment shows steady increase over last two years, though the number of companies is dropping

The Finnish games industry continues to grow, employing around 3,200 by the end of 2018, though the growth of the country's €2 billion industry has steadied somewhat after several years of rapid expansion.

A report from Neogames Finland offers that this number is up from 2750 employees at the end of 2016 - a 16% increase. More and more of those employees are joining the Finnish industry from abroad, as well. Neogames estimates that at the end of 2018, 27% of these employees were from outside the country originally, up from around 18% in 2016.

But though the total number of employees is up, the number of companies has decreased from 250 at the end of 2016 to 220 at the end of 2018. A total of 48 new studios were established in 2017 and 2018, meaning a total of 78 studios have closed, moved, or otherwise dropped from the Finnish industry in two years.

In addition to the number of studios dropping, the number of new games in the last year was also down to around 100, while previous years had seen between 150 and 200 new games published. Neogames' report suggests this is due to developers and publishers focusing more on the longevity of existing titles, focusing on games as a service rather than new game creation. Of the country's 30 largest studios, only five published a new game in 2018.

One of the country's largest studios, Supercell, has seen a gradual decrease in the weight it carries financially in the Finnish industry over the last few years. In 2015, Supercell's revenue accounted for almost 88% of the total industry revenue. In 2018, that percentage was down to 65%. While part of this may be attributed to Supercell's revenue decreasing two years in a row, but Neogames also notes that in 2015, countries outside Supercell brought in an estimated €300 million ($339 million), while in 2018 that number was over €700 million ($791 million). Supercell alone brought in €1.4 billion ($1.6 billion) in revenue last year.

Along with industry data on employment numbers, Neogames also surveyed 140 Finnish gaming companies, approximately 63% of the Finnish industry, and including all the country's largest industry names. Within these 140 companies, Neogames found that the number of women they employed rose from 406 in 2016 to 569 in 2018 - going from 18% of their employees to 20%.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.