The games industry in Finland grew 57 percent to €165 million in 2011, according to the International Game Developers Association. The majority of growth is due to Angry Birds developer Rovio which made $42 million in venture money in 2011.
The success of Angry Birds has helped other developers to gain international backers. "There’s an amazing critical mass here," said Sean Seton-Rogers, general partner at London-based Profounders Capital. "Once you start having a viable ecosystem, it feeds off itself."
Supercell's Clash of Clans was the top grossing iPhone app in the US on November 22, according to appannie.com. Supercell is based out of Helsinki, Finland.
Seton-Rogers said that it is the growth in the mobile market which gave the industry a boost in the country. "The market has really grown with the growth in mobile gaming," said Seton-Rogers. Seton-Rogers manages €30 million in venture funds and first invested in a Finnish startup Applifier. "As that’s taken off, people pay more attention now."
"Helsinki is the best city in the world to build games at the moment," said Supercell CEO Ikka Paananen speaking with Bloomberg. "People understand that it’s possible to become global from Finland -- to have an example like Rovio is very inspiring and motivating."
"I'd say that we're fairly confident that Angry Birds has become such a mainstream brand and phenomenon that we can't foresee a future where can't base a very solid and sustainable business on Angry Birds," said Rovio's Mikel Hed speaking with GamesIndustry International.
"Especially as we've also diversified to so many areas. In addition to that, the business that we've built around Angry Birds means that it's very easy to build up new franchises as well."