People in workshop

Inspired by Malmö, Sweden – how to create a functioning ecosystem around games

I participated in Nordic Game Conference 22-24 May 2019 in Malmö, Sweden. I met, greeted and mingled with games companies, industry associations, educational institutions and gaming communities throughout the Nordic region and around the globe. As an observation, Southern Sweden and more precisely province of Skåne has created a functioning ecosystem around the games. There is a lot to learn and peer support available from our neighbour.

Nordic Game Conference at Slaghuset, pic Hanna Hauvala

According to Invest in Skåne statistics, in Southern Sweden there are over 50 game studios, many of which have gained international recognition and success like Massive, King, Tarsier Studios and Avalanche Studios (located in Malmö). The studios employ over 1500 talented game developers. Province of Skåne has also advanced research and educational support structure with The Game Assembly, Malmö University and Hyper Island. Over 90% of the students get a job in the industry within six months of finishing their education. And in 2017 The Game Assembly was ranked the 2nd Best Game Education in the world by The Rookies. There are also gaming investment consultants whom can help in development, recruitment and collaboration.

Malmö’s success in tech is not Gladstone Gander’s luck

Malmö is one of the municipalities of Skåne. It has been one of the earliest and most industrialized towns of Scandinavia, but its industry struggled during the recession. Since that Malmö has undergone a major transformation and realized the reality of structural change. Malmö does not fight against change but has decided to develop new strategies to restore competitiveness. Much has been invested in education and internationalization as well as in leisure and innovation. This has attracted new biotech and IT companies which shows for example in which publish globally the latest information technology news and jobs. “Malmo-Sweden’s small but sturdy tech system” are some of the charms of Malmö for IT industry:

A chilling corner at Game studio  (pic Hanna Hauvala).
  • A varied, diverse and vibrant startup community; subsequently generating a startup ecosystem that links the best of the Nordics with the rest of the world.
  • Small, but strong tech ecosystem where everyone wants to play a role in the city’s positive digital journey. People want to solve things.
  • Malmö has 340 000 inhabitants from 190 different nationalities. In the context of tech industry, the diversity shows in the number of hardware talents and best access to the world markets where the companies are targeting.
  • Wide networks and professional business coaching. Sharing knowledge, resources and experience. Everything needed within walking distance and through word of mouth.
  • Feel-good vibe, relaxed atmosphere and focus on work-life balance.

In games, Malmö’s Nordic Game is the leading games conference in Europe. It has been arranged 16 times gathering over 2,000 games industry professionals in Malmö annually from all over the world. There are also many internationally recognized companies and excellent game education. (Southern Sweden Game Industry).

Brand is made, image is built, reputation is earned

At Sustainable Digi & Game Ecosystem -project we are creating an ecosystem, which brings the gaming and digital actors in Central Finland together. An accelerator, where co-operation enriches the know-how of the actors, creates the conditions for entrepreneurship and new business operations. The goal is that there will be a Jyväskylä Digi & Game Center established by 2020. Another important goal is the branding of the Center.

People in workshop
Jyväskylä Digi & Game Center brand workshop, pic Flowhouse
People in workshop
Jyväskylä Digi & Game Center brand workshop, pic Flowhouse

In Malmö, I visited Game Habitat DevHub. It is a co-working space mainly for game developers and a similar place and operating model what we have in our minds for also Jyväskylä Digi & Game Center. The visit confirmed that in a functioning ecosystem a co-working space is vital. But in order to flourish and become attracting for a wider user base also brand, image and reputation are crucial. We need to be identified and attractive. And it is not just the physical features that create a brand but also the feelings that people have towards the place. Also, what will be our common truthful message and what is the thing, the good vibe so that Central Finland will magnetize talents and investments. Malmö’s success story shows that the operating environment and attraction factors are meaningful. So, what could be our ”Malmö appeal”?

We have started our branding work by workshop with regional experts, entrepreneurs and organizations which have strong interest to promote and be a part of Jyväskylä Digi & Game Center. This work will continue after summer breaks. Håll dig stämd!

Hanna Hauvala

Hanna Hauvala

The writer M.Econ Hanna Hauvala currently works as Project Manager at JAMK University of Applied Sciences. She has managed, participated and planned regional research and development projects since 2012. She is a specialist in business, management, sustainability, games industry and quality based on her work experience and education.


10 Apr 2019
Southern Sweden Game Industry on Youtube

Sustainable Digi & Game Ecosystem project is funded by Regional Council of Central Finland from European Regional Development Fund, BusinessJyväskylä and Fingersoft. Lead partner is JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Business and co-partner is Expa Game Business Co-operative. Project duration is 1.12.2018 – 31.12.2020.

More information:
– Hanna Hauvala, Project Manager, JAMK, hanna.hauvala(at), +358 40 576 9174 or
– Tuomas Roininen, Chairman of the Board, Expa, tuomas.roininen(at), +358 50 380 0991.

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#aluekehitysrahasto #keskisuomi #BusinessJyväskylä #Fingersoft #JAMK #Expa #Digi&GameCenter

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