手机游戏开发商Sumea联合创始人Illka Paananen说道：“芬兰手机行业过去常常享受的是当雇工的乐趣。Remedy过去数年来已经出过许多优秀的游戏，如《Max Payne》，但《愤怒的小鸟》无疑是芬兰游戏行业最棒的作品。它为初创企业做了榜样。”该公司已于2004年被Digital Chocolate收购，后者仍然是赫尔辛基最大的工作室之一，目前主要关注Facebook市场。
这些团队包括地理定位手机游戏《Shadow Cities》的开发商Grey Area和由RealNetworks旗下Mr Goodliving studio某些主要开发人员联合成立的初创公司Grand Cru。
在此背景之下，许多在芬兰有业务的大型跨国公司显然受到了影响。Real集团于2011年初关闭了Mr Goodliving，THQ也在2010年关闭了Universomo工作室（游戏邦注：该工作室位于芬兰第三大城市坦佩雷）。很显然，诺基亚自已也遇到了问题。运营在线游戏《Habbo Hotel》的芬兰公司Sulake近期也开始裁员。
这个行业相对较小，到2011年总员工数在1万人左右，而且大部分还是暂时性的雇员和合同工。因而这些年来，许多芬兰开发者曾为多个不同的工作室效力。其中，PC和主机游戏公司Remedy的表现尤为明显，在开发《Max Payne》系列游戏和《Alan Wake》时候招工，随后进行裁员。
现在，赫尔辛基中每个公司互相之间都非常熟悉。以Rovio为例，该公司当然知道哪些人值得他们招募，因而许多初创公司都自诩有着经验丰富的团队。比如，Supercell由Sumea、Remedy和Sulake中某些高级成员创立，Grand Cru团队中主要是来自Mr Goodliving和Sulake的技术能手。
Grey Area有些例外，有些员工来自爱立信，但随后自称吸引了部分Mr Goodliving的技术人员。
其中包括Secret Exit、Mountain Sheep和Kuuasema等小型开发商，Facebook应用推广公司Applifier也于近期发布其Facebook点击链接网络的手机版本。
同时，Remedy也凭借发布的iOS经典游戏《Death Rally》（游戏邦注：这款游戏由Mountain Sheep联合开发）获得了成功，PC游戏公司Futuremark已经发布其首款手机游戏《Hungribles》，有传言称PSN游戏公司Housemarque也在设计首款手机游戏。
Report: Angry Birds’ effect: Why Helsinki is the hot spot for mobile start ups
Angry Birds has changed many aspects of the mobile games industry, but nowhere has its impact been felt more strongly than Finland and its capital, Helsinki; Angry Birds’ very own nest.
Thanks to support from Nokia, it’s been a leading location in mobile games for a decade or so, spawning companies such as Sumea, Mr Goodliving and RedLynx, as well as Rovio itself.
Now, it’s witnessing a resurgence on the back of trends such as the growth of smartphone ecosystems combined with social gaming, the investment funding bubble, strong government support, and a new cultural confidence.
“The Finnish mobile industry used to be happy with work for hire,” says Illka Paananen, who co-founded mobile developer Sumea, bought by Digital Chocolate in 2004, and which remains one of Helsinki’s largest studios, now mainly Facebook-focused.
“Remedy has made some great games over the years like Max Payne, but Angry Birds is definitely the greatest thing that has happened to the Finnish games industry. It’s provided a role model for new companies.”
And there’s certainly plenty of activity at present.
Paananen himself has a new outfit, Supercell, which is close to releasing its first product, a Facebook and (eventually) mobile core-casual game called Gunshine. In addition, through his work with angel funder Lifeline Ventures, Paananen is involved with several other teams.
These include Grey Area, the creator of the location-based mobile online game Shadow Cities, and Grand Cru, a start up consisting of development leads from RealNetworks’ shuttered Mr Goodliving studio.
According to the latest report (The Finnish Games Industry 2010-2011) from Neogames, the country’s Centre of Games Business, Research and Development, there are 65 games companies in Finland, with over a third of them being established since 2009; 10 in 2009 and 14 in 2010.
Total turnover for the sector for 2011 is estimated to be €165 million, up 57 percent on 2010′s figure, thanks in part to Angry Birds.
Bands of brothers
It’s also significant in this context that many of the large multi-nationals who had operations in Finland have been scaling back. Real’s corporate woes resulted in the surprise closure of the 50-strong Mr Goodliving earlier in 2011, while THQ shut down its 50-strong Universomo studio (based in Finland’s third city Tampere) in 2010. Obviously, Nokia has its own problems, while Sulake, the Finnish company behind online service Habbo Hotel, trimmed its headcount recently too.
Combined with this is the sector’s historic swingdoor attitude to employment.
A relatively small industry – with a headcount of around 1,0000 until 2011 – and one driven by temporary expansions and contractions, over the years many Finnish developers have worked for multiple studios. In particular, PC/console outfit Remedy has played a central role, staffing up and down as it’s worked on titles such as the Max Payne series and Alan Wake.
RedLynx and Rovio have also suffered from similar, if less violent, elasticity. Both expanded to over 40 staff on the back of work for hire, before scaling back to barebone operations in 2009, then successfully refocusing on self owned, digitally distributed titles. Now, both are expanding again.
The result is everyone in Helsinki seems to knows everyone else – has an opinion about Rovio, of course – and knows who they would like to work with, so many of the new wave of start ups boast highly experienced teams. For example, Supercell consists of senior ex-Sumea, Remedy and Sulake staff, while Grand Cru is mainly Mr Goodliving plus a Sulake technical lead.
Grey Area is an exception in this regard being formed by ex-Ericsson staff, but has since been boosted with refugees from Mr Goodliving (again), amongst others.
And more generally, every company in Helsinki seems to be expanding.
These include smaller developers such as Secret Exit (Zen Bound), Mountain Sheep (Minigore) and Kuuasema (Supersonic), while Facebook promotional outfit Applifier (another Lifeline Ventures investment) has just launched a mobile version of its Facebook click link network.
Meanwhile, Remedy has had been successful with the iOS release of its classic game Death Rally (co-produced by Mountain Sheep), PC benchmark company Futuremark has announced its first mobile game Hungribles, and PSN expert Housemarque (Super Stardust) is also rumoured to be working on its first mobile title.
Indeed, because everyone is expanding – Rovio’s around 100-strong, for example – competition for staff is starting to kick in.
“Yes, it’s getting a little tougher to hire people,” Paananen agrees. On the back of its first round funding of $12 million, Supercell’s headcount is already up to 35.
However, he says it’s the sort of positive problem the industry should be happy with. Anyhow, the Finnish games industry has always been international. At one stage, Digital Chocolate had 32 different nationalities on staff.
“A lot of those people have stayed in Finland, and we’re getting a lot of resumes from aboard,” Paananen argues.
“Helsinki is the hot place to start a game company. People want to come and check out what’s going on.” (Source: Pocket Gamer)