Kristian Segerstrale, the former CEO of Playfish, a social gaming company before it was sold to Electronic Arts for $300 million back in 2009. Today he leads the Playfish team in EA and invests through some smaller funds, like that of Lifeline Ventures here in Finland. Playfish wasn't Segerstrale's first startup. Before Playfish he sucessfully build up Macrospace that since then changed to Glu Mobile and went onto IPO into Nasdaq. Segerstrale was on stage yesterday at the Summer of Startups demo day event. He was energetic, inspiring yet very easy to approach - everything you'd expect from a man of such success and experience.
Editorial note: This is a guest post by Kristoffer Lawson, the Travelling Salesman. He's on a 10 000 kilometre drive to meet Nordic startups. ArcticStartup is supporting the project, by covering his travels and findings.
With another week on the road, I have to say that the exhaustion is slightly getting the better of me. While it has been a joy to visit this beautiful country, so many things have also gone wrong, from missed meetups to losing a fuel cap, that the stress is beginning to show. Oslo thankfully gave me a chance to recuperate a bit, for a couple of nights, but it also added stress of its own, as I will mention a bit later.
Here's a video I shot with my Nokia N95 and subsequently uploaded to JayCut for editing via my laptop (see more on JayCut here). In the video itself Jussi Laakkonen tells about his new social gaming startup, which is still in stealth mode. Jussi asked me to mention that Everyplay is looking into hiring a sitebuilder that can handle Ajax and PHP. You can send your resumes to corporate [at] everyplay.fi
Another long time Finnish gaming master mind Asmo Halinenha s also announced that he's moving on from Apaja, a company he founded, but has only let us know about a few board positions his moving into at this point, namely at Eat.fi and at Grey Area.
Social gaming, unlike many other industries, can actually benefit from the gloomy economic environment, as people many times move towards inpexsive games played in the browser from the expensive console games, and in extreme cases have much more time to play and tinker with all kinds of stuff online if they get laid off. As harsh as this may sound, this is largely how for example Typepad got started when Ben and Mena Trott started Six Apart after they got laid off.
Further, Jussi promised us that he will shed light into how the Finnish gaming industry has evolved from an active demo scene by writing a guest blog post on the topic. Another strong player that has come this route is Scred.