Jussi Tähtinen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Nitro Games. Nitro Games is a Finnish mobile game company, focusing on shooter games on mobile and publicly listed at Nasdaq First North Growth Market in Stockholm. Tähtinen has more than 15 years of experience from the games industry, ranging from development of games on various platforms to publishing and marketing. Throughout his career, Tähtinen has worked in various positions in game development and worked with over 30 game releases on platforms ranging from PC to console to mobile. Tähtinen has been the CEO of Nitro Games since 2008.
Tähtinen joins us for Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki Digital 2020, with his talk – ‘Know your customer’. His presentation will be about the importance of knowing your target customer in mobile F2P, as well as about practical tips and insights on how to define your customer, how to find your customer and how to understand the needs and motivations of your customer to deliver the best possible game experience for your customer.
We caught up with Tähtinen to see what’s changed in the games industry since he joined, and what trends he expects to see over the next 12 months in the industry.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about Nitro Games.
The games industry is a hit-driven business and requires a lot of hard work since the landscape is constantly evolving and changing.
Jussi Tähtinen: Nitro Games is a Finnish mobile game company, 40 professionals in two studios in Finland. Nitro focuses on delivering shooter games on mobile. The company was founded back in 2007 and has been operating in F2P mobile exclusively since 2014. Nitro is known for its own games as well as delivering games to industry leading companies like Avalanche Studios Group, Netmarble EMEA, Wargaming and so on.
What does your role entail?
As a CEO I’m overseeing the execution of our strategy and pushing the limits to reach our goal, which is to become a household name in the category of shooter games on mobile.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I’ve been a gamer my whole life, and I’ve been making games as a hobby for a long time. I’ve worked in the games industry since 2004 and my main motivation to pursue my career in games was to combine my passion with my skills on a global business that has pretty much unlimited opportunities.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Follow your heart. The games industry is a hit-driven business and requires a lot of hard work since the landscape is constantly evolving and changing. You need the passion for games and a strong motivation to develop your own skills on a continuous basis in order to stay competitive.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
I believe shooter games of different types are going to be a key driver in this growth during the next 12 months.
The biggest impact has been COVID-19 and how that has forced us all to re-think the ways of working. The ‘forced remote working’ has educated us all a lot and helped us to see that this really is a global business and at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter where your teammates are located. We can work together remotely just fine.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
I believe we’re going to continue to see mobile gaming grow by expanding to new categories. I believe shooter games of different types are going to be a key driver in this growth during the next 12 months.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
During these +15 years I’ve seen the industry grow and expand. Most notable changes from my perspective are the following:
- Gaming as a hobby has become a universally accepted pastime.
- Gaming as a business has become a universally recognized ‘serious business’.
- Mobile gaming and F2P took the world by a storm and innovated a whole new way of making and playing games.
- The industry has learned to welcome female employees. Back when I started, the industry was dominated by males, especially in game development, whereas as of today, it’s somewhat rare to find a game development team without female developers. At least in mobile gaming, that is.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Connecting with industry friends and colleagues. That’s the most important part.