Helsinki, Finland - The Finnish capital's world-leading gaming ecosystem will gain new strength on June 1, 2018, when Games Factory opens doors in Helsinki's Maria 01 tech startup community. A home base for selected Finnish gaming startups, Games Factory will serve a larger role as a gaming community meeting place, a window to the Finnish gaming ecosystem, and a platform for gaming initiatives in Finland and beyond. "We'll be the embassy and showroom of the Finnish games industry on the global arena," says Games Factory CEO José Jácome. He explains that the mission of Games Factory is to represent, to promote, and to strengthen the Finnish games industry, embracing all types of games. A key role of Games Factory will be to increase cohesion within the industry through a new type of regional community, in which games developers and other industry actors network and collaborate, sharing information and capabilities. The goal is to breed new talent and business. "Games Factory will develop the Helsinki and Finnish gaming ecosystem further from the inside," Jácome says. "Games Factory mirrors and helps to boost the fundamental strength of the Helsinki area gaming ecosystem, which is high community orientation," says KooPee Hiltunen, Director of the Finnish non-profit games industry organization Neogames. He explains that Games Factory is an outcome of a long process within the industry: "The first ideas were presented as early as 2013." The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, published by Startup Genome, confirms the strong community orientation of the Helsinki area gaming ecosystem. According to the report, Greater Helsinki is the world's top ecosystem for local connectedness and one of the most important gaming ecosystems globally. The report says about Greater Helsinki, "A notable feature is collaboration among gaming developers and founders." The report cites the multigenerational evolution whereby more mature gaming enterprises give rise to a new generation of startups. "As an industry showroom, Games Factory is a welcome development for the global gaming community, which takes an active interest in the gaming ecosystem model of Helsinki and Finland," Hiltunen asserts. Finland is today among Europe's top three countries in digital games development. The country has 250 active gaming enterprises, 30 of which exceed one million euros in annual sales. Games have been Finland's biggest cultural export branch for a decade. Top-grossing Finnish games have included Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, Quantum Break, and Empires & Puzzles. Well over a billion people worldwide have played games developed in Finland. Games Factory will be home to 20 Finnish gaming companies at a time, ranging from small to medium-sized studios. One of the Games Factory criteria for selecting members is their capacity and willingness to contribute to the community and the whole ecosystem. The contributions could take many forms, ranging from sharing technical capabilities to organizing events. Games Factory has emerged with the help of the City of Helsinki, which owns the Games Factory building and has renovated it for the purpose. Games Factory is a member of the partially City-owned tech startup community Maria 01, which operates in the premises of the former Maria hospital. Today the leading Nordic startup center, Maria 01 is projected to develop into a world-leading tech venture hub, Campus Maria, in the early 2020s.
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