Gaming is becoming an incredibly popular entertainment medium across the world. While media giants like the United States and China have contributed millions of games and billions of dollars in investment to the industry, it’s Finland’s developers who have been catching headlines.
Across all forms of titles and platforms, Finland is steadily becoming a nation of gamers. Given the surge in local creative success and the accessibility of platforms, it’s clear to see how this has become possible; but which games are catching the imaginations of the new age of leisurely Finnish gamers?
Finland among the biggest in mobile gaming
In Finland, mobiles are absurdly available, with Finland standing as the leading European nation in which enterprises give their workers mobiles, sitting at 96 percent according to Eurostat. When people think of the biggest mobile gaming franchises ever made, two distinct and Finnish titles often come to mind: Angry Birds and Clash of Clans.
Developed by the Espoo-based Rovio Entertainment Oyj, Angry Birds has been the studio’s biggest property since 2009, taking the massive world of mobile gaming by storm. The original title spawned several sequels, spin-offs, some movies, and the team is still working with the brand, having announced Angry Birds Legends, which is an RPG instalment according to Happy Gamer.
With Angry Birds generally being a single-player puzzle-type game, Finland has also staked a claim in the ever-popular arena of multiplayer live service gaming. Helsinki-based Supercell is the development team behind the eternally popular Clash of Clans as well as popular spin-offs like Clash Royale and Brawl Stars.
So many globally dominant mobile games have come out of Finland, and with just about every enterprise gifting its workers a mobile device, it’s easy to see why mobile gaming continues to soar.
Online gaming also picking up speed
In many regions, gaming tends to succeed when platforms and titles feature more of a local appeal. While the consoles and, to an extent, mobiles can’t really pivot their offering to suit to a new market, many platforms in the online gaming space are more than willing to do so.
Established as the leading brand for computer and mobile-based gamers, Viking Slots have proved that they have this necessary local appeal. Of course, Vikings aren’t a part of Finnish history, bar some trade agreements, but the theme itself appears to resonate with players in Finland, as do games like Dragons of the North, Wolf Riches, Starburst, and Ring of Odin.
Offering an experience which is clearly geared towards a more local audience tends to offer gaming brands strong appeal, especially in a market where home-grown developers are releasing many grand creations.
Console gaming is gradually expanding its Finnish footprint
Console gaming isn’t new to Finland. The video games segment is expected to account for over US$180 million (around €165 million) in 2020 revenues, with Statista seeing the user penetration of video games climbing to 49 percent by 2024. As games and consoles become more available and affordable over the course of a generation, they often see an increase in users outside of the biggest markets. However, if even more top-class games keep coming out of Suomi, perhaps the rate of console adoption will increase.
Most recently, the game Control from Espoo-based developers Remedy caught headlines for its sublime gameplay. Hailed as the game of the year by many outlets, and making it onto the shortlist of most major awards, Control once again invited the world to see that Finland is a leading creative in gaming. It’s not just the triple-A video games, though, with indie developers like Loren Lemcke – established in Oulu – creating some incredible multi-platform titles, such as the brutally entertaining Super Blood Hockey.
Already a powerhouse in game development, Finland is gradually becoming more and more embracing of gaming as an entertainment medium. With the availability of mobiles, the tailor-made online platform of gaming for Finland, and world-class video games coming from the country, gaming will almost certainly continue to grow in popularity across the nation.