Growing the Gaming Canvas

One of this year’s biggest game industry event in Finland was organized in Helsinki during the SLUSH 2023 week; the event in question was RovioCon Google 2023. This was the fifth year RovioCon was organized, and the second time they teamed up with the technology company Google. The event brought together over 900 Rovians (people working at Rovio), Google and SEGA employees and invited peers from game companies around Europe. (Ivo S. 2023.) Theme of this year’s convention was “Growing the Gaming Canvas”.

Two female figures standing in front of big, red and gold coloured logo saying RovioCon Google 2023.
Picture 1. Laura Nys (Google) and Lotta Backlund (ROVIO) were the hosts of Executive Stage program during RovioCon 2023. (Akifoto 2023)

Rovio, SEGA and Google on the same stage

The day started with keynote talks from leading experts from Rovio, SEGA and Google, as well as game and entertainment industry experts like Supercell’s Marketing Lead Iwo Zakowski and YouTube’s Global Head of Gaming, Leo Olebe.  

This is the first year Rovio has been part of the SEGA family, as they bought Rovio in August 2023. SEGA’s Co-COO Shuji Utsumi talked in his opening session about the transmedia strategy of new ROVIO + SEGA collaboration. Both companies already have experience on successful collaboration with movie industry, and both see the importance of being present in multiple digital channels that offer entertainment content to consumers. 

Link to the wrap-up video of RovioCon Google 2022.

Inclusion & People track highlights

There were four different tracks that run simultaneously during the convention: Growth, AI, Creative, Product and Inclusion & People. Inclusion & People track content was related to the topic of LAB’s TOIVE – Towards equal working life project that started in the beginning of 2023. TOIVE aims to reduce workplace gender segregation and increase equal job opportunities for people regardless of their gender, gender identity and gender expression.

Jade Ostle, Game Designer at Trailmix, shared their insights in embracing diversity within their mobile game Love & Pies. According to Ostle, diverse team is able to deliver diverse content more believably to the players. This does not fix all the problems though, as even diverse group of people might make mistakes, especially when diversity is used to monetize the game content.

Lotta Vuoristo, Chief People Officer at Rovio, shared her thoughts about “Leading People through Uncertainty” by telling about the spring of 2023 at Rovio. As mentioned before, Rovio was acquired by SEGA in August of 2023. Few months prior to this, another company had also informed their interest towards acquiring Rovio. The news came as a surprise to everyone at the company, even the top level. This led to a difficult situation where there were lots of questions but no answers. Lotta shared how they managed the difficult situation through openness and trust. This unexpected situation showed how important company culture is. Without building company culture where trust and sense of safety are at the core, they would not been able to achieve situation where shock news like this, and the uncertainty that followed, could be handled so that everyone was able to continue their work. Even without knowing what was coming, they trusted the company. 

In conclusion, RovioCon Google 2023 provided valuable insights into the evolving landscape of the gaming industry, with a focus on collaboration, diversity, and navigating uncertainty. The event showcased how a robust company culture, built on trust and inclusivity, is pivotal for addressing challenges and ensuring the continued success of gaming companies in a dynamic environment.


Ria Gynther works as a RDI Specialist at the LAB University of Applied Sciences and as a Project Manager in TOIVE – Towards equal working life -project.


Akifoto. 2023. 027 ROVIOCON GOOGLE 2023. Cited 24 Nov 2023. Available at

Ivo S. 2023. LinkedIn post. Cited 24 Nov 2023. Available at

Rovio Entertainment Corporation. 2022. RovioCon Google 2022. LinkedIn post. Cited 24 Nov 2023. Available at


Link 1.  Factor Nova. 2023. RovioCon Google 2022: Games, Growth and Beyond. YouTube video. Cited 11 Dec 2023. Available at