Kajaani, Finland, is renowned for its well-established and growing gaming development industry, which has gained recognition locally and internationally. In Oulu, we have also recognized Kajaani as one of the main sources of recruitment for game studios based in Oulu. Kajaani has emerged as a prominent hub for gaming companies and game development talent, attracting both startups and established game studios. Our ICTOulu team had the pleasure of visiting Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, where Mr. Matti Saren, the CEO, gave an interesting presentation.
Kajaani boasts a thriving gaming ecosystem, with a cluster of smaller gaming companies, game development studios, and related services. The city has fostered a supportive environment for the gaming industry, including access to funding, infrastructure, and skilled talent, which has led to the growth of the gaming development industry in the region. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences and their dedicated Kajak Game Development Lab serve as the heart and soul of this network.
The Kajak Game Development Lab at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences offers a program where students work in groups specializing in various aspects of game development. Students develop commercial game products and publish their games with the help of the student-run Kajak Games Co-op game company. The second year of the Game Development studies program is taught entirely in English, making it ideal for exchange students. Students can specialize and hone their skills in Game Graphics, Game Programming, Game Design and Production, or Game Technology. The program offers various courses and project studies in different areas of game development, including programming, artificial intelligence, 2D and 3D graphics, animation, game design, and game production.
We also had the opportunity to visit some recreational spaces for students. However, this individual has had his toes on Nintendo for too long.
In summary, Kajaani is emerging as a thriving hub for the gaming development industry in Finland, thanks to its supportive ecosystem, strong education and research focus, collaborative culture, success stories, and infrastructure for gaming companies. Mr. Saren emphasized that Kajaani is open to collaboration in various areas, including expertise in data centers and supercomputer utilization, which aligns with the city’s hosting of the Lumi-supercomputer, as well as new approaches to cyber security. We are excited to have an innovative and dynamic city close to Oulu, and we are committed to exploring new ways to engage with stakeholders based in Kajaani.