Finnish Game Industry is a cool bunch of talented and nice people. Finland is the leading country of origin for successful mobile game companies, home base for several high profile big screen game developers, and has thriving game tech sector expanding to new areas such eSports and AR/VR. This posse is probably creating more awesome and innovative games per capita than any other nation. They also organise an annual gala event where they gather together and give recognition to their peers in the form of Finnish Game Awards. Last Thursday, the Finnish Game Awards 2016 was held in Helsinki. For me, it was a moving and delightful event.
I was delighted to meet many people working in the Finnish gamedev scene. Some of these people, I had got to know only a few months ago, here in my new home city, Jyväskylä, which by the way has healthy and growing local game developers, with many promising games published and new projects underway.
Where it started to get moving was with the people who I had met a long long time ago - if you, old friends of mine, are reading this, best regards to you and I'm hoping to see you again within months or weeks instead of years (or tens of years). I know some of these people have worked with games and game technologies years and years and and keep doing their very best to grow the industry here and develop it further.
The most moving moment for me came with the presentation of an award by Neogames for my old game published on these pages this very January. When the hosts started talking about the 21st anniversary of Finnish Game Industry, and then about stuff even earlier than that, things from 30 years ago, I suddenly realised they just might be talking about ... me and my game.
To get awarded amidst best Finnish games developers from last year was an honour. There were Colossal Order and wonderful and successful Cities: Skylines, there were Frozenbyte with beautiful Trine 3, and others (see all from links below). To receive recognition and congrats from a younger generation of Finnish game developers as well as from my old friends was a privilege I treasure within my heart. I'm really hoping the thanking words I managed to utter reached out and in some way touched the audience that were sharing the moment with me.
Back home again I naturally put the award on the highest place of my study bookshelf:
So, may the year 2016 be even better than previous for Finnish Game Developers!
Press release from the organizers:
More on category winners, other nominees, and the event itself: