The Nordic region, and in particular Finland, has spurred several major game development studios that are responsible for some of the most popular titles on the globe. This is apparently because the local companies are designing their offerings for the international consumer rather than the local one due to the sheer size of the market, and as a consequence they need to focus solely on refining their brand.
Here’s how Matias Myllrinne, the CEO of Remedy Entertainment which developed Alan Wake, a title that is published by Microsoft, put it:
“But in terms of end consumers, we’re not going to be communicating Finland… By the time you get around to ‘…and we’re from Finland,’ it isn’t really vital. The end consumer doesn’t really care – and why should they? They buy into the brand. Nokia’s slogan is ‘Connecting People,’ it’s not ‘Nokia: from Finland, by the way.’”
It seems that this approach has been paying off, at least for some companies. Rovio, the maker of the extremely popular Angry Birds, has been very successful recently. The company raised an impressive $42 million in funding from Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures shortly after it announced Angry Birds hit the 30 million downloads landmark. Another notable highlight is that 80 percent of all of those who downloaded the game stuck with the game for a fairly long time.
Developers from Finland are innovating in more fields than just gaming, but some are extending it to serve entirely purposes than entertainment. Microtask crowdsourced the digitalization of the National Library of Finland by creating a small of numbers of game available freely to users. On a somewhat smaller scale, The Startup Sauna recently finished its road trip in the nation, and chose two startups for its incubator program.
Finland is not the only European nation that is responsible for major innovators in the tech industry. For one the same can be said of Sweden, the home of Spotify among many others.