Industry By Kristian Wingfield-Bennett / April 18, 2017 The Finnish Game Awards and the appeal for workforce expansion Amidst moderate growth the Finnish gaming industry is in need of workforce expansions. By any measure the Finnish gaming industry has seen steady annual growth since 2009. Sales and number of employees also continued to grow last year, yet the growth rate was lower than that of the previous year. 2016 was the year of moderate growth and stabilisation in contrast to the hyper growth experienced earlier.The shortage of experienced staff has tormented the industry for years and last year was no exception. The availability of foreign labour and the slow admission rate to Finland has become one of the largest obstacles to growth. Around 18 % of employees working in the Finnish game industry come from abroad. The number is likely to rise as it is increasingly difficult to find talented senior level employees in Finland. Finnish game studios expect to see 280 new job positions available this year. Despite the decrease in growth, the game studios and the games themselves are by far Finland’s largest content export. Games have also become a major phenomenon in the national economy. Based on preliminary estimates, the game industry’s share of Finland’s GDP was about half a percent in 2016. Finland’s market share of global mobile game sales is around 7 percent. In terms of sales Finland is among the three largest game developer countries in Europe. “Finnish games from Angry Birds to Clash of Clans, from Quantum Break to Cities: Skylines have conquered the world. Well over a billion people all over the globe have been playing games made in Finland”, said Mariina Hallikainen, Chairman of the Board, Finnish Game Developers’ Association. “The Finnish game industry is confident about the future. Success is built piece by piece and a game at a time. Finnish studios are great at making games”, commented KooPee Hiltunen, Director of Neogames Finland Association. The recent report from Neogames sheds light on the Finnish game industry’s current situation, its future and strengths, as well as its challenges and opportunities. The report can be downloaded from Neogames’ website here. Finnish Game Awards After a successful year, the Finnish game industry is celebrating at the Finnish Game Awards Gala in Helsinki on April 27th. The gala evening, organised by the Finnish Game Developers’ Association and NeoGames Finland Association, has several award categories such as Game of the Year, Rookie of the Year and the Sensation of the Year. This year’s nominees can be found at www.neogames.fi/gaala . The gala’s live video stream can be followed via the same link. All winners and their photos will also be published on the site on April 27th at 22:30 CET. The Award night can be followed with the social media tag #fga17. Finnish Game Awards is sponsored by Remedy Entertainment, Next Games, Rovio, Supercell, Unity Technologies Finland, Colossal Order, Dodreams, Fingersoft and RedLynx.