Games at the Parliament

Neogames, The Association of Finnish Game Developers and FIGMA hosted an overview event on the Finnish games industry for the Members of the Parliament today. I had the privilege to participate, to talk about the origins of the Finnish game industry and the challenges it faces and naturally demo FlatOut to members of the parliament.

Riku Olkkonen from FIGMA and KooPee Hiltunen from Neogames gave an introduction of the industry:

  • In the year 2007 the Finnish game studios’ revenues totaled roughly 80 M€ and a total of 60 studios employed roughly 1000 persons in Finland and a further 300 abroad
  • In the year 2007 approximately 2,4 million game products were sold in Finland, which is the same figures as the number of people who went to movie theaters to watch movies
  • Only 4% of games sold were classified as for people at least 18 years old, while games rated for ages 3+ up amounted to over half of all games. Finland uses the pan-European PEGI ratings system.
  • Lack of education was highlighted as the key issue slowing the industry’s growth in Finland. Roughly 20-40 people graduate every year while the industry would employ around 150 people every year

There were a number of questions from the members of parliament including how piracy affects the industry (lots on PC, not really on consoles) and if the broadcasters/media houses interest in delivering content over multiple devices for one license fee affects games like it does movies or music (it doesn’t as games are tied to the hardware they run on).

Naturally, we had the time to also play! We had the Finnish-made FlatOut Ultimate Carnage from Bugbear, Golf: Tee It Up! from Housemarque and Reset Generations from Red Lynx on display as well as Wii Fit, Guitar Hero 3 and Grand Theft Auto 4. Member of parliament Eero Lehti made a very happy camper after he told me that he owns and plays FlatOut Ultimate Carnage. YEAH!

Wii Fit proved easily to be the most popular game at the event, with almost everybody wanting to try it. Pertti ‘Veltto’ Virtanen who had previously coached ski jumpers found himself very much at home playing Wii Fit’s ski jump as you can see below.

Guitar Hero 3 was also very popular. In addition to the members of parliament playing, I also challenged Housemarque’s Ilari Kuittinen to a couple fun matches (it was very close, so we need a re-match!). Rock’n’roll is very much alive even at the house of parliament ;-).

Overall it was a great opportunity for the industry to share information with key decisions makers in a fun and engaging way. Props to Riku Olkkonen and Koopee Hiltunen for organizing the event!

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3 Comments on “Games at the Parliament”

  1. Kaisa Says:

    Hehee, Veltto Virtanen pelaamassa nintendo Wiitä! Mun veli on kingi, kun pääsi itse eduskuntataloon ; )

  2. Taneli Says:

    Good stuff! the 80M figure probably doesn’t include casual/social gaming? Habbo alone would be a big addition to that, if you claim it is “gaming”.

  3. Taneli, I’m not sure exactly of the methodology used. I believe it does include Habbo, at least the employment figures include Habbo’s staff AFAIK.

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