Laid Off Rovio Employees Start New Tampere Studio

The cloud does seem to have a silver lining for the people recently laid off from Rovio Tampere, as they get together to found a new game studio, Greener Grass.

 

17 of the about 40 people that were laid off when Rovio closed their Tampere studio in December, have now secured their own employment, as they have together founded a whole new game development studio, Greener Grass, Finnish business site Talouselämä reports.

The new studio is headed by Atti Kotiranta, who was also the head of the now closed Rovio Tampere. He tells Talouselämä that the work to create the new studio began almost as soon as the decision about closing Rovio Tampere was made. Rovio was even kind enough to let Kotiranta begin to lay the foundation for the new company, while still on Rovio’s payroll.

I personally recruited these people for the Tampere office and saw that with them it would be possible to establish a vibrant studio

 

All 17 members of the new studio are co-owners. Kotirante explains to Talouselämä that he feels that this is an optimal solution, since this makes everybody a part of the company, and if the company prospers, everybody prospers. And it will also help to keep communication open and transparent in the new company.

Kotiranta himself is a experienced entrepenuer, with four founded game studios under his belt. Among them is Universomo, which he co-founded in 2002 and later sold to THQ in 2007.

 

Greener Grass has also set up a business model that is a bit different from the norm. Based on their previous experience, they are branding themselves as experts in mobile gaming. But they are not planning on both developing and publishing games themselves. Instead, they plan to be sub-contractors, creating games for others to market and publish, Kotiranta says.

I see them as two different roles, which requires different skills. I do not have any expertise in publishing, but on the game development side, we have a lot to offer.

While this business model does not scale to billions of Euros, Kotiranta tells Talouselämä that they feel it’s a more secure and stable model. Self-publishing startups need venture capital investors with deep pockets.

Jesper K. Kristiansen

Multi-passionate game developer and journalist. Has been writing about the Danish games industry for more than ten years, and creating audio design for both Danish and International games for almost as long.

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