Nov 14, 2014 Elena Zozulya
In Finland, the country that lives and breathes games development, the developer community is very close-knit and games companies are always willing to give each other a helping hand. Everyone understand the value of working together. “The gaming scene in Finland has always been like a family”, says Miki Kuusi, the main organizer of Slush.
The role models like Supercell and Rovio have been actively cultivating the culture in which gaming studios could flourish. But even before these success stories marked the rise of Finland’s gaming scene, a lot had been done to pave the way to where we stand now.
In the early 2000s, Nokia used to organize game developer events to nurture the gaming community in Finland. The events in the form of cozy gatherings were arranged at an out-of-the-way place where developers could demo their games.
Ilkka Paananen of Supercell and Miki Kuusi got an idea to organize the same type of a micro gaming event at Slush by making a dedicated demo area for early-stage gaming studios.
This idea has been brought to life by three gaming veterans—Supercell, Rovio, Remedy Entertainment and up-and-coming star Next Games—who are giving 50 games startups the opportunity to come to Slush and showcase their creative works at the game startup demo area.
On each of two days of the event, we will see 25 startups presenting their games, all of them hungry to become the next hit-maker.
Silvermile, the developer of MMO mobile games, is one of the startups invited to the Slush game demo area. Juhana Kotilainen, the founder of Silvermile, believes that Slush is all about the people and connections: “Slush is connecting the key people from all continents and I’m hoping to meet a lot of new cool people and catch up with old friends.”
Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games, comments on why they have decided to become one of the sponsors of the games demo area: “Slush is having a hugely positive impact on tech and companies here in the Nordic region and beyond. Startups that attend are able to reach investors, demonstrate their products and network with other likeminded companies from all over the world. We at Next Games are extremely proud to have the opportunity to be part of bringing in new game industry startups to the event.”
“The vibrant startup scene is one of the strengths of the Finnish game industry. Demo booths offer startup companies possibility to reach investors, audience and peer groups. Reality check and feedback are essential for a company developing its first game”, shares KooPee Hiltunen, Director at Neogames, the Finnish association whose mission is to to accelerate and support the development of the Finnish game cluster.
Photos by Samuli Pentti
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