Photos: Kira Leskinen/Games Factory
Are you a big fan of playing games on your mobile or PC? Personally, I am not that passionate, but I know several games and that Finland is one of the biggest players in the game industry. According to statistics Finland, the gaming industry turnover was a billion euros in 2014.
On June 1st 2018, a building that once was part of Maria historical hospital became Helsinki Games Factory. This space is now a showroom, an embassy, and community space for companies from the gaming industry in Finland.
Jose Jacome, the Manager Director said, “ Helsinki Games Factory is a physical space that embodies the actual community of the games industry in Finland, which is quite unique. The objective is to showcase the games industry in Finland. So when people come to visit the town, whether they are investors, industry people, someone who would like to join the games industry, for example a talent; they can come here and visit to get grassroots information as to what is happening around the city”.
The opening of the space was welcomed by a lot of people from the industry, friends, and family. They enjoyed touring around the spacious rooms, dancing to the music, eating hot grilled sausage, drinking and socializing.
At Helsinki Games Factory, companies are still in the process of moving in but currently the building houses the following companies:
The goal is to become a home for 20–25 games companies and approximately 200 people in the building. Jose also mentioned that they are not strictly concentrated on one type of games. On the contrary, they want to show all the different types of games the industry has, such as mobile, play station, augmented reality, virtual reality, consoles, and PC games.
Tuomas Varesvuo, from Action- Reaction Games, a mobile multiplayer, is in one of the companies which are housed here. He said, “the whole concept of the Games Factory is pretty cool in bringing all the gamers and game sharks together. I still know that the Games Factory needs to do some hard work to pull off their promise, but I believe in them and that is why we are here as well”.
She expressed, “certainly it will bring more centralized favor to the games industry in Helsinki, so probably in the future we will see that Games Factory will be a huge influencer, and a lot of good games will come out of here. I am really hoping that some new guys can also start their company here and see this as an opportunity for the future where they can guarantee success and get benefits from the others who are already here”.
When I asked Jose about this combination of work and games, he laughed saying, “sadly I haven’t had much time lately to play, since we just opened Helsinki Games Factory”.
The Games Factory team is currently composed of four people, however, they know that eventually they would need more people to join them to fulfil future plans like opening another Games Factory overseas in countries like Japan and Portugal.
If you are visiting Helsinki and interested in the gaming industry, please feel welcome to drop by at Lapinlahdenkatu 16, building 5 or visit the web page http://www.gamesfactory.fi