10 Finnish game firms have, nevertheless, been regarded as good investments outside Finland. Examples are the foreign investments made in Sumea (nowadays Digital Chocolate) and Mr. Goodliving. Th e fi nnish game industry Finnish companies operating in the game industry can be divided into three categories: 1. Companies whose main business is game development and games, in other words, more than 50 percent of turnover comes from games. 2. Companies in which the games business supports other operations. 3. Companies in which games will play an important role in the company strategy in the future. Most of the companies discussed in this publication belong to category 1. Category 2 can be considered to include telecommunications companies, broadcasters and terminal manufacturers. These companies are not covered by this publication. Their exclusion has a material impact on turnover figures and the numbers of employees, for example. Companies included in category 3 have, for the most part, been excluded as well. Finnish game firms represent high technical quality. Several examples, such as Habbo Hotel by Sulake, Max Payne by Remedy and FlatOut by Bugbear prove that Finnish game companies also have basic professional competence and new ideas. With technical knowhow, these ideas can be turned into successful games. Finnish game education and research are also of high quality on an international scale. University-level research is conducted at several institutes across the country. For example, the Hypermedia Laboratory at the University of Tampere, Ludocraft at the University of Oulu and LUME at the University of Art and Design Helsinki have received international recognition for their game industry research.
In a country the size of Finland, the relationship between research and game firms is close owing to the relatively small size of the sector, and there are functioning structures for mutual cooperation between research and business activities. The level of game education is also good. Education is offered both at universities and at secondary-level institutions. Number of employees nearly doubled 2005 There were slightly over 600 people working in the Finnish game industry in 2004, most of them in Finland. However, the figures include companies operating in several countries at the moment and employing people outside Finland as well, e.g., Sulake and Digital Chocolate. The majority of game firms employed a relatively small number of people in 2004. This is a common situation in Finnish companies engaged in content creation. The following chart shows the size distribution of game firms in 2004. 1-5 employees 6-10 employees 11-20 employees 21-50 employees 51 > employees Number of Employees / Company 2004 1-5 employees / 21 51 > employees / 2 21-50 employees / 6 11-20 employees / 7 6-10 employees / 4 Despite their relatively small average size, Finnish game companies offer good growth potential and a positive attitude towards the future of their operations. The companies estimate that in the end of year 2005, they employ a total of nearly one thousand people. 11