Mobile gaming veterans found new studio Papukaya, to create games for “people who don’t identify as gamers.”

A group of mobile games industry veterans have founded a new studio, Papukaya, to create games for “people who don’t identify as gamers.”

The team raised €2.7 million in funding from Supercell last year, and have revealed that their first game will explore themes of wellbeing and relationships.

Papukaya was co-founded in 2020 by CEO Drussila Hollanda (formerly at Supercell), lead programmer Johannes Ahvenniemi (formerly Seriously Digital Entertainment) and lead game artist Saara Mäkinen (formerly at Rovio).

“The global mobile game player base has grown and diversified, but there’s still untapped potential even beyond the casual gamer demographic. Only 10% of time spent on smartphones is spent playing games – so there’s definitely room to engage a largely unserved market,” said Hollanda.

“We’re looking for talented people who know what it takes to build great mobile games, but are fired up by the challenge of creating something that might not look like a game at all.”

The Helsinki-based studio is currently hiring for a lead game designer, and other experienced developers.

“Our industry often views the games market as made up of people who identify as gamers. In doing so, we’re turning a blind eye to the massive population of non-gamers who would play games,” said Jaakko Harlas, investments lead at Supercell.

“We can’t think of anyone better suited to pursue this opportunity than the uniquely qualified founding team of Papukaya.”

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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