On 15 November and as part of our debut in Helsinki, Nordic Game organised an Executive Summit and several other activities for invited participants, moderated by Sonja Ängeslevä, CEO & co-founder of Phantom Gamelabs (FI) and Anette Ståløy, CMO at Dirtybit (NO), with special guest Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen.
We met the trio after the summit concluded for a chat about the event and their take-aways:
Image above from left to right: Anette Ståløy, Ilari Kuittinen, Jacob Riis and Sonja Ängeslevä.
Nordic Game: First of all, a big congrats for a job well done! But for readers who weren’t there, can you briefly tell us what a Nordic Game Executive Summit is all about?
Anette: Our Executive Summits gather leaders from the games industry to talk about relevant topics and challenges, to share and learn from each other. Here in Helsinki, we had almost 80 industry executives joining us, from Finland and abroad, and we had a great time with loads of fruitful discussions.
Nordic Game: According to the Finnish producers’ association Neogames, the Finnish industry had a turnover of stunning 3.2 billion EUR in 2021. Was this success story part of the talking points in your program?
Sonja: The core list of invited execs came from Neogames, and that represented most Finnish game companies, so of course this success was talked about; but as there were a great deal of participants from other countries as well, the aim was mainly to discuss relevant challenges.
Nordic Game: As part of your program, you included in a true Nordic industry legend, Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Housemarque, one of the most influential and experienced game studios in the region and a fantastic Nordic Game supporter throughout the years. Ilari, what exactly was your task during the summit?
Ilari: Well, I was basically there supporting the event by giving my perspective on certain matters. As I’ve been a part of almost every Nordic Game Executive Summit since the beginning fifteen years ago, I must add that I think these summits are very valuable, as they provide attendees with amazing networking possibilities. You get to know other execs really well, even to a point where one can go to them for help and advice – something I actually regret not doing even more in the past.
Nordic Game: Although a central part of the Executive Summit is discussion in “private” – without being quoted by media – can you reveal some of the talking points or conclusions from the event?
Sonja: Among the topics we talked about was post-COVID challenges, and my take-away was that there are many shared challenges regarding company culture; it was interesting to see that companies had a lot in common there, regarding the challenges, but also regarding suggestions on how to solve the problems. Another topic was to identify trends and where the industry is heading in the near future. Again, it was great to see the willingness of the participants to discuss and listen to each other.
Anette: Yes, and I actually think communication was and is a very relevant thing to discuss, and for our industry to be even better at, so that we share insights, visions and goals, and thus can move together in the same direction.
Ilari: I agree – a very important take-away for me was the importance of communication, especially when you start to expand as a studio, and staff is getting larger and larger.
Nordic Game: All of you are industry veterans, having worked in the industry for many years. How do you see the future – bright or bleak?
Ilari: There are some general challenges in the world, like inflation, demographics and so forth, that might have a big impact on our industry. But in the short-term, studios are getting funded, there’s a huge demand for talents, and so we’re growing – there are many short-term positives.
Anette: I’m an optimist, and I think one of the advantages we have as an industry is that we’re used to the fact that we need to fail to succeed. And so, even if some giant companies are disappearing, new ones will rise, and combined with progress in technology, the industry as a whole is always moving forward.
Nordic Game: That’s it! Thanks a lot for your answers and for hosting this very first Helsinki edition of the Executive Summit! Will you be back for our next one, which will be part of NG23 Spring, 23-26 May in Malmö, Sweden?
All: We certainly hope so! 🙂
NG22 Helsinki was presented with the support of our sponsors including AppsFlyer, Autodesk, i3D.net, InnoGames, Numi (CR Studios), SuperScale, UberStrategist, Xsolla and Yahaha Studios, with partners MeetToMatch, Neogames and Rehaboo!.
Become a Nordic Game partner
Nordic Game would not be celebrating its debut Helsinki edition this fall without the tremendous support of our sponsors and partners. Many of them have already signed-up for our 2022 events, but we’re always ready to welcome new partners.
Contact us here for more info about the wealth of opportunities available to put your brand in front of the entire Nordic developer community and their global peers at Nordic Game next spring and beyond.
This is Slush
Slush has grown from a single gathering in Helsinki to a series of events organised all around the world. The crown-jewel event is the annual Slush event, but Slush also hosts smaller get-togethers around the globe.
It all started in 2008 in Helsinki with a one-day affair made up of around 250 people. While the size of the Slush event has grown by leaps and bounds, the goal has stayed the same: focus on how best to serve start-up ecosystems across the world.
As a company, Slush serves start-ups, founders and investors through the main annual Slush event as well as Slush products: start-up media Soaked by Slush, online community Node by Slush and smaller global events Slush’D.
If you are Slush ticket holder and/or registered with Slush, you can find Nordic Game Helsinki activities scheduled in the list of partner side events on the Slush platform website here (login required).
About the Nordic Game conference
Nordic Game is the leading games conference in Europe, and 2022 marks its twenty-first and twenty-second editions, as well as our return to historic Slagthuset and debut in Helsinki. Gathering thousands of industry professionals in the spring and autumn each year, Nordic Game is the one and only “home turf” meeting place for the highly successful game developers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Learn more about Nordic Game last May, this November and next spring.
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