Teemu Huuhtanen

Year 2017 at Next Games – Preparing for future growth

2017 has been an important year of building the foundations for our future growth and we have successfully reached many milestones we set for ourselves this year.

An incredibly important milestone for us, but also for the whole Finnish games industry, was our IPO in March, making us the first public games company in Finland. Our extremely successful listing plays a key role in supporting Next Games’ growth into an even stronger mobile game company. This is a clear indication of the credibility of our growth strategy amongst both international and Finnish investors as well as among our pre-IPO VC investors, all of them deciding to firmly stay onboard with Next Games.

We’ve also seen major developments in what goes under the hood in our games. We’ve built and finalized our analytics platform, allowing us to have full ownership of all our data and enabling a rapid feedback loop to our game development process. In addition, our state of the industry games-as-a-service platform, which allows us to run our games smoothly, has been further iterated as we’ve gathered learnings from The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land and gearing up towards launching new games.

Both of these are major investments and achievements in their own right, and will secure us a solid operational stability going forward and most importantly, we can keep our players as our priority for everything by developing games that they want to play based on the feedback and data.

In October, our first IP-based game,The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land turned two years old and once again delivered a fantastic tie-in with the TV show for season 8. This game continues to spearhead how big entertainment IP transforms into a mobile game and plays a key role in creating a direct, day-to-day connection in between the franchise fans and the game.

The location-based, augmented reality game, The Walking Dead: Our World and the mobile game based on the Blade Runner franchise are firmly on track, in addition to a third game based on a notable entertainment franchise with a third partner. In 2018, we will continue to actively seek collaboration with new partners to strengthen our product portfolio and bring new products into development. More news to follow on these in due course.

I’m pleased that our hard work has been recognized by esteemed industry organizations both on our home turf and internationally. To name a few, we received the international Webby Award for The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land; the most valuable award in licensing business: LIMA International Licensing Award; in addition to being voted as the Startup of the Year in Finland and selected as the #1 growth company by Finland’s leading business publication Kauppalehti.

Our values have played an important role at Next Games from the very beginning. I’m a firm believer in building companies on strong values, to the point that we can base our decisions and our day-to-day work on them. At Next Games, our aim has been to try to be as concrete as we can with our three C’s: Caring, Curiosity and Courage. Just like players are the best source of information for our product development, our employees are the best judges of how well we are tracking with our internal culture and processes. Personally I was extremely happy to see how well we did in this year’s Great Place to Work survey, being the only games company on the list from Finland. We take our values very seriously and are dedicated to continue nurturing our culture.

As a true sign of one of our most important value, caring, our employees have voted to donate the funds reserved for Christmas gifts to a charity of their choice. Instead of cluttering the world with more stuff, we wanted to help people in need and do our part in tackling more pressing humanitarian issues in the world. Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund will receive a €10.000 donation, in addition to the company organizing a €18.000 worth donation of phones and laptops to students, children and families who are not able to buy their own through the “Kaikille kone” charity.

With that, I would like to thank our investors and partners in trusting and believing in us; the whole Next Games staff for the extremely hard work, dedication and love you’ve put into creating incredible games; and last but not least, a big thank you to all our players. Having you all with us will make our 2018 a great year.

From all of us at Next Games, I wish you Happy Holidays and a fantastic new year!

Teemu Huuhtanen