SLUSH 2015 report by Jussi Perttola
Slush is the biggest start-up event in the whole of Europe so we weren’t going to miss it for the world. Last year we made a lot of important contacts (especially with Yle & Pikku Kakkonen) so the expectations were high for this year as well!
I was sent to scout the area a day before so I attended TEKES Skene Refueled Final Seminar on the 10th and met some of the most awesome people in the whole gaming industry. There were a lot of excellent presentations from other companies like Next Games, Mindfield Games, Remedy,Everywear Games and Colossal Order. However I think Ilkka Paananen’s presentation about the early days of Supercell was the one that truly reflected what the whole game industry is all about. Would you believe that the office of one of the most successful gaming companies ever would look like this just a few years back? In the game industry everything can change for the opposite in just a blink of an eye.
After all the great speakers it was time for some sparkling drinks (on the courtesy of TEKES) and of course some vigorous networking!
The networking went on and on even though Slush hadn’t even started yet. I soon found myself enjoying my time playing PitchCar and Towerfall atShark Punch’s office. I barely managed to slip out before the Midnight Game Music Concert began. Not everyone did.
I was super exited to hear the iconic melodies from the best Finnish games like Angry Birds, Alan Wake, Clash of Clans, Best Fiends and Super Stardust. I’ve no doubt the overwhelming experience was even better than the sauna back at Shark Punch’s (though I bet it was a blast too!).
Next morning it was time for Slush. I heard the venue was bigger than last year but there were so many people I couldn’t really tell. After I managed to squeeze through the cloakroom area I hooked up with my right-hand man Tuukka and together we started to run from a meeting to another.
Our main agenda was to meet publishers and that’s what we did. We had many good chats about Elder Goo and our upcoming titles. We also pitched our strategy to a couple of investors some of whom we’d never met before. Business cards changed owners like there was no tomorrow. We were happy with all the meetings we had and all the contacts we made after all networking is what Slush is all about.
After lunch we had a one-hour demo booth in the Engine Room where we let people play Elder Goo – Möllit. And as expected everyone loved it! Once again Elder Goo proved to be the kinda game that encourages even strangers to start talking with each other to solve the puzzles.
The night ended with the IGDA Finland November Gathering with Omniata, Redlynx and Slush! The networking reached yet another level as people from other fields were slowly filtered out and all that was left were game industry people from all over the world!
The morning after Slush was a little more quiet but we were up early. It was a good thing we had most of the meetings the day before.
Matchmaking 101: avoid scheduling meetings to early mornings – especially after the big party!
All in all Slush was great for us. Yet again we saw that putting a lot of effort into matchmaking beforehand really pays off so be prepared if you want to make good use of your time in the actual event.
See you all next year!