THE GAME INDUSTRY IS GROWING NICELY IN THE CITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ, THANKS TO PELIOSUUSKUNTA EXPA / IGDA FINLAND JYVÄSKYLÄ HUB, GAME COMPANIES, SCHOOLS AND DEV PEOPLE AT THE REGION!
Now that we started year 2017 that is also #Suomi100 year for Finland. It is very important milestone year for Peliosuuskunta Expa. Peliosuuskunta Expa (Eng. Expa Game Business Co-operative) is a company that is turning 5 years old in December 2017.
It is good to look back at what WE have accomplished so far. We have been creating and developing the local game industry as volunteers. Expa doesn’t have a CEO and none of the board members are paid for their work. When we started Peliosuuskunta Expa there was hardly any kind of game industry scene in Jyväskylä. There were some independent developers but none of them knew about each other before Expa.
- Only a few indie game companies or developers in region.
- Few published games and little investor money in companies
- There was no specific education for games or game development
- There was some games research studies towards “serious games” at Agora Game Lab, University of Jyväskylä, but not that much as game industry business focus on them.
- No funding for Peliosuuskunta Expa to make the game industry scene to grow.
- No EU support to boost up game industry business scene in region (unlike other cities like Tampere, Oulu, etc etc.)
Some things changed pretty quickly after a group of passioned and motivated people established 12.12.2012 Peliosuuskunta Expa. They wanted to create a competitive game industry scene in Jyväskylä, Central Finland region. They wanted similar opportunities without moving to other cities. And hoping to get job on that field in this city of Jyväskylä when they graduate or change their meaningless jobs to something that have been inspiring them since childhood. Peliosuuskunta Expa has always been and will always be the community of the game industry people in the region. It’s all about the people.
Now, over 4 years later, the game industry scene has been growing organically with the help of Peliosuuskunta Expa, Game Industry Entrepreneurs and the volunteers. Peliosuuskunta Expa has about 100 devoted members including game developers, researchers, students, teachers, entrepreneurs etc. The estimated size of the local game industry is close to 1000 individuals which makes Jyväskylä one of the TOP 5 game developer cities in the country. On top of that Jyväskylä game developer scene is one of the most active ones in social media.
- Over 20 local game companies that are connected on daily basis
- The combined turnover for game companies in 2015 was a bit over 3 million euros and in 2016 over 4 million! (based on a survey, the actual number is probably higher).
- There is no superior hit company / product in the region just yet, but certainly coming soon.
- Most of the companies said that the amount of workers would increase in the next 12 months!
- A good number of published games, some publisher deals and some investment money in companies.
- Qvantel Oy has on Wed 19 Oct 2016 finalized the acquisition of all shares of Grain Village Studios Oy game company. All employees have moved to Qvantel.
- There is education directly to Game Industry at University of Jyväskylä and JAMK University of Applied Sciences. The discontinued Jyväskylä Game Lab project was great education format for the industry in the region
- Strong co-operation between the educational institutes and Expa.
- International hotspot IGDA Finland Jyväskylä Hub status since 2013
- International annual Game Industry business event XmasJKL (XmasJKL Video) held in Jyväskylä in 2015 and 2016 (keynote Peter Vesterbacka, who said that Expa is doing somethig RIGHT!). Investments & business deals happened because of XmasJKL
City Major Timo Koivisto pointed as honour member #starmember to Peliosuuskunta Expa
- Still no funding for Peliosuuskunta Expa to make the game industry business scene to grow. (If compared to our partner Jyväskylä Entrepreneurship Society (JES ry) that is about same age, has been funded by schools and other operators at the region the whole time).
- Still no EU supporting money to boost up Game Industry Business scene in the region as it was used in other major cities. Some other cities in Finland are taking their second and third round on it already!
So there has been happening A LOT in Jyväskylä, Central Finland region but we need more muscle to make the business side to grow to new heights. We can always compare to cities like Oulu, Turku or Tampere how their cities have been supporting the scene there and we can easily say that they are collecting the fruits of those actions as we speak.
As the King once said: “We need A little less conversation, a little more action please“, So let’s Do it together City of Jyväskylä – WE have the PRO people & companies here already, let’s not let them to go away!
The city of Jyväskylä needs a scalable business in all it’s forms and fields.
Chairman of the Board