During our tour in Finland, we visited the game company Supercell.
Supercell is a Finnish company and one of the world's leading mobile gaming companies, with five flagship games valued at over a billion euros. The company itself is estimated to be worth around 10 billion euros.
Their leading games include Clash Royale, Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars, and Boom Beach. Beyond their well-designed offices in Helsinki (which even have a sauna and spa for employees), this company has a lot of interesting aspects.
Firstly, it's a relatively small company, with about 410 employees, and they also have offices in Shanghai, Seoul, and San Francisco. Their headquarters are in Helsinki, and the other offices mainly have marketing teams and studios.
Not many people know this, but Finland's gaming industry has existed for many years. It started with small companies developing games for the Commodore 64 in the 1980s and continued with companies creating games specifically for Nokia's gaming platform (another Finnish company). Today, we see companies like Supercell, Rovio (Angry Birds), and more.
So, what makes a country with a smaller population than Israel (5.5 million people), half a year without daylight and the other half without night (not to mention the weather), a leader in the gaming industry, especially mobile gaming?
Apart from asking the people at Supercell why game companies, particularly mobile game companies, thrive in Finland, I discovered an interesting insight during my research. Programming has been a popular hobby in Finland since the days of the Commodore 64, likely due to the need for indoor activities during the long, dark, and cold winters. This early exposure to programming seems to have influenced Finland's culture of problem-solving through teamwork, both in education and at home. Consequently, gaming became a significant part of this culture.
When I asked, "Why mobile games?" I received a clear answer: "Nokia." The mobile development industry connected with the company, the world leader in mobile phones, creating a fertile ground for mobile game development.
As I mentioned earlier, Supercell has a unique company culture. They emphasize the importance of teams within the company. When you visit their About page, you'll see the slogan, "THE BEST TEAMS MAKE THE BEST GAMES." They stress that ideas don't come from CEOs or management; instead, ideas come from teams, and the management only helps them become a reality. This perspective allows a company with a valuation like Supercell, with just 410 employees, to compete seriously in the market.
There's much more to say about this company, but I've touched on the key points. Feel free to ask if you have more questions.