Finnish games renaissance is the result of a lack of interest in money, says Supercell

The boom of Finland's games industry is the result of a cultural disinterest in making money, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen told TechCrunch, expaining the growing success of companies like Rovio, Grand Cru and Supercell itself in the country.

While an initial push in games development came from the Finnish government and numerous venture capitalists, the growing local scene has maintained its trajectory because of a focus on quality projects in the face of losing money. According to Paananen, prior to the greenlighting of Clash of Clans and Hay Day, Supercell killed off more projects than it launched in 2012.

For this reason, despite the possibility that the success of games like Angry Birds could result in an influx of developers into the community who hope to make quick money — a shift similar to what was seen in the Silicon Valley community and the rise of Zynga — Paananen states this works against the cultural philosophy of Finland.

"What I like about the local scene is that most people do not work in games because they want to make money. Instead, they want to make great games," said Paananen. "Ironically, I think that is the right approach to take, and will also maximize the financial returns in the longer run."

"I am pretty sure that the small number of people who may join the industry just to make the quick buck will very soon realize how immensely tough industry this is, and they will leave as quickly as they appeared," he added. "The vast majority of the local game developers do not think ‘money first, I do not see this changing. Finns generally do not work for money anyway, so why should that change now that there is a bit more money available?"

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.