For years now, the games industry in the Nordic countries has been serving as an example for us. MCV has published a fascinating territory report about the region on its website. For your convenience we have summarised the article in a few bullet points:
- The games industry in Finland has seen a spectacular rise according to goodnewsfinland.com: thanks to initiatives led by the government like tax shelter and significant investments in game development education, employment in the games industry went up from 1,020 jobs in 2009 tot 2,700 in 2015. The turnover of the Finnish games industry amounted to €900 million in 2013 and grew to a whopping €2.4 billion in 2015. A role model for our local game development industry!
- Sweden’s healthy landscape for games has led to the formation of several major firms in the country – several of which have been purchased by global games giants for huge sums. Minecraft creator Mojang hails from the region, and was acquired for €2.18 billion by Microsoft in November 2014. Meanwhile, mobile behemoth King was picked up by Activision Blizzard for €5.15 billion. Other notable developers include Paradox Interactive, DICE, Avalanche Studios, IO Interactive …
- Boxed game sales continue to be a core driver of the Nordic games market, despite a recent decline at games retail in the region. According to the Association for the Nordic Game Industry (ANGI), in 2014, the value of Nordic retail sales decreased by 18%.
- More games were sold on PS3 at Nordic retail during 2014 than any other console, with the machine shifting 2.3 million software units. In terms of volume, PlayStation dominated the Nordic games retail landscape in 2014 – between PS3 and PS4, Sony claimed over 48% of the software market. Comparatively, Xbox One and Xbox 360 collectively held just under one fifth of market share. PC, meanwhile, comprised 16% of the sector.
- Sweden takes the lion’s share of the Nordic games industry, with more than a third (36%) of the market in terms of both volume and value. Norway is the second-largest region for games, contributing a quarter of the territory’s business. Denmark and Finland both account for approximately a fifth of the region’s market.
- The Nordic multi-platform retail charts are very similar to the most popular games in other countries. The best-selling title of 2014 was FIFA 15, followed by Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Much like in other countries, the action genre is by far the most popular type of game available. The genre comprised a quarter of the market in 2014, with sports proving second-most popular, with a 16% share – ahead of the shooter category’s 14% market share.
- Sweden may be the biggest games market in the Nordic region, but 2014 saw the country’s industry suffer as retail sales fell by 15%. This came despite the growth of both new-generation consoles; annual PS4 and Xbox One software sales rose by 905 and 8,003%, respectively. PC games did fall, dropping by over a fifth. However, Jacob Kroon, communications officer for Swedish Games Industry, says that the platform will remain popular for local developers.