Last week, two Finnish game developers decided to join forces, as Helsinki-based Next Games announced that they had bought Finnish games startup, Helsinki GameWorks, along with all of their IP’s and 12 employees.
The merger was made official on Next Games’ blog last Thursday, and as part of the merger of the two companies, former Helsinki GameWorks CEO, Kalle Kaivola, has now been appointed Head of Licensed Games in the new, larger, Next Games.
This means that Kaivola, who also served as SVP of Product and Publishing at Rovio Entertainment before GameWorks, will be responsible for the upcoming The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. A mobile game based on the very successful tv-series from amc, currently slated for release in early 2015.
As such, things have been moving fast for Next Games. The company was founded in 2013 by people from companies like Rovio, Disney, and Supercell, but have already picked up one of the most popular IP’s, have signed a deal with the Lionsgate entertainment company , and are also, according to their blog, working on their own in-house IP’s.
The contact between Next Games and GameWorks began when GameWorks was contracted earlier this year and asked to help out on some of Next Games’ projects.And according to Next Games, it was already then clear “that we shared a similar vision on how companies should be built on trust, honesty and each other’s well-being as well as acting responsibly towards the people who will play our games.”
Like Next Games, Helsinki Gameworks was also founded by industry veterans, so the similarities between the two companies are definitely there. And Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games, also called out the experience of the GameWorks employees, as one of the reasons behind the merger.
Joining forces is a logical move, as our first games will launch very soon and the next productions are being ramped up. The veteran team and IP from Helsinki GameWorks will be a huge asset
The latest years have seen a lot of new game development startups being founded by veterans from some of the bigger Finnish developers. Former employees from companies like Remedy Entertainment, Rovio, Digital Chocolate, and many others, are part of some of the newest successes on the Finnish gaming scene, such as Supercell, Seriously, PlayRaven, as well as Next Games and GameWorks.