The aim of the programme, named Skene – Games Refuelled and which is aimed in particular at start ups and SMEs, is to make Finland a gaming and entertainment industry centre of international importance.
The games business is the fastest growing sector of the entertainment industry. In 2011 the industry's global value was approximately $ 65 billion and the industry is experiencing strong growth especially thanks to mobile gaming.
Games are Finland's most financially significant cultural export: in 2011 the total turnover for the industry was approximately EUR 165 million.
Finland has produced numerous success stories in the gaming industry and the Skene project will contribute towards creating an internationally significant games and entertainment cluster.
The aim is that instead of producing individual hit games Finnish games companies will become part of a systematically successful, international games industry ecosystem. In addition, the project aims to further the systematic transfer of knowledge and expertise from research institutions to games companies and from them to other industries.
Benefits and entertainment
The programme is not purely limited to entertainment. Social games and networks can already be employed in developing products and services i.e. in crowdsourcing.
Gamification is becoming an increasingly important part of health care and logistics services. In the future, in addition to serving as entertainment, games and simulations may be incorporated into schools' learning environments as well as corporate training and coaching.
The advanced tools used in games development can also be used in other industries as well, such as in modelling, simulating and user interface design, not forgetting traditional software development.
Funding and tools for growth
Tekes has systematically funded the Finnish games industry since 2000. Annual funding has been and will remain throughout the new programme at several million euros per year.
The Skene programme will continue until the end of 2015 and the estimated extent of the funding amounts to approximately EUR 70 million, of which the share of Tekes funding will be about EUR 30 million.
In addition to providing funding the Skene programme offers business development sparring, matchmaking services for meeting foreign gaming companies and investors, networking and market research. Close co-operation between both Finnish and international companies, research organisations and industry associations are all central parts of the programme.
"It's great that the Finnish games industry is being continually developed to meet the challenges of the future. I am also delighted that the Tekes programme has been designed, from the very beginning, in close co-operation with companies," says Aki Järvilehto from Remedy, one of Finland's most successful games companies.