Kauppalehti had a good article on one of the less known Finnish game studios, Lapland Studio. They are a small game studio located up in Rovaniemi, Finland and are designing games for many platforms, from mobile phones to the latest new market Nintendo Wii. The company was founded in 2004 and has a revenue of about 420 000 euros for year 2008. They have been steadily growing and avoiding creating too much loss as they grow, the largest loss in 2007 worth less than 10 000 euros.
Lapland Studios has been previously providing outsourcing services to advertising agencies, film studios as well as some game developers. They also have two seperate subsidiary companies; Mine Studios and Inaria Interactive. Mine Studios concentrate on mobile games while Inaria Interactive will expand into the console gaming market.
Lapland Studios newest release is Lead the Meerkats, a game of strategy intertwined with storytelling. For the moment it is planned to be released on the Nintendo WiiWare platform, but could later be seen on the DS hand console as well. The development costs for the game are around 250 000 euros, which is very reasonable for a good quality game.
Mine Studios on the other hand is expanding as well. They are currently recruiting developers for the iPhone as they have 5 new games being developed for the platform. This is another sign of how important the iPhone is seen as a platform – Mine Studios do not have plans to grow into the S60 market. Then again, if you look at the devices they are developing for, the Nintendo Wii and iPhone, both have some similarities in the ways they are controlled.
One thing that strikes me is the quotation Lapland Studios CEO Ilkka Immonen says about the Finnish gaming industry, “Finland doesn’t have a strong background in game developement and it shows in lack of experience”. This in my opinion is very contradictory as Finland has been praised many times for its game industry and how it works. For a country of 5,2 million people, I think we’re doing relatively well.