“What’s in the water?” As a Finn, I have heard this a lot regarding the multitude of Finnish-made games topping the charts of the app stores of the world.
But what many people don’t realise is that the Finnish game industry existed long before the mobile boom. Since the 1980s, there has been a steady stream of ambitious computer and console games coming from veteran Finnish companies like Housemarque and Remedy Entertainment.
Sadly, nobody really noticed the Finnish factor back then. Only after the relatively recent success of mobile game studios such as Rovio (Angry Birds) and Supercell (Clash of Clans, Hay Day) was international interest sparked. Besides these giants, games like Hill Climb Racing and Badlands, by Fingersoft and Frogmind Games respectively, have quietly attracted huge audiences on mobile. Typically these games are simple yet elegant, with a distinct art or play style, and crafted by small teams.