December 23, 2016

Five for Friday: Our most popular articles in 2016

This year has brought with it all manner of good news, with a quintet of articles particularly taking our readers’ eye.
This year has brought with it all manner of good news, with a quintet of articles particularly taking our readers’ eye.

Many things have been happening in 2016 for Good News from Finland, least of all we have enjoyed a significant boost in our readership. So, among the groundbreaking innovations, exciting startups and investment news we’ve reported on these past 12 months, are you wondering what has been checked out the most?

1. Stupid Stupid Games makes a name for itself

Rather than focus their creative energies on one game or book, Stupid Stupid Games decided to emulate the likes of Marvel, DC Comics and Star Wars and create a universe. Or, in industry terms, intellectual property (IP), that would encompass characters, stories, names, places and the brand itself.

“The name is ironic,” Jussi Kyrönseppä admitted to us, laughingly. “It’s a safety valve as well. We can do stupid stuff, because we don’t call ourselves stupid for nothing.”

2. Finnish startup Zyptonite brings privacy to video calls

Born out of frustration with unreliable, insecure video calling services, Zyptonite believes it has found a better way to keep in touch with family and friends abroad.

“Zyptonite is the first real-time communications app that connects parties directly,” explained co-founder and CEO Antti Uusiheimala. “People need a simple, reliable and free video call and messenger service that works on different devices and operating systems without problems.”

3. Finland’s games scene – all work and all play

With a mere 2 700 employees, Finland’s games industry generated a turnover of almost 2.5 billion euros in 2015. Wondering what the secret to its success has been?

“We share information, knowledge and networks,” states Koopee Hiltunen, director of local games hub Neogames. “Since we don’t have a domestic market and all our companies get more revenue from export markets abroad, it makes sense for Finnish game developers to cooperate inside Finland.”

4. Finnish games company crafts creativity for schools

The brainchild of three teachers, schools around the world are increasingly harnessing Teachergaming’s solutions. Even more so since American multinational tech giant Microsoft announced it bought the company’s Minecraftedu educational game in January.

“Our greatest challenge is to make sure that the games don’t reek of school,” outlined CEO Santeri Koivisto.

5. Umbra rendering the next generation of games

Such is the capability of tech company Umbra, its CEO and founder Otso Mäkinen is confident that within five years Umbra will be at the forefront of providing 3D rendering, not only video games but for everyday life too.

“Since we’ve already been working on it [VR] for the last 15 years, it hasn’t shown signs of dying out,” Mäkinen says. “Also, there is more and more content all the time, and we are about to optimise all of that.”