President of Japanese mobile gaming firm eyes start-up scene and low tax rate

GungHo ponders move to Finland

The president of Japanese gaming firm GungHo Online Entertainment is considering relocating the company to Finland.

Just last month GungHo acquired a 51 percent stake in Finnish Clash of Clans developer Supercell for $1.5 billion, so the report from The Wall Street Journal that company boss Taizo Son is pondering a move isn’t straight out of the blue.

Taizo, the younger brother of GungHo parent company SoftBank’s owner Masayoshi Son, is said to be pondering the move to take advantage of Finland’s low corporate taxes and start-up scene.

"We’d like to move our headquarters," said Taizo Son at a conference in Helsinki.

"We are researching this option, and we are conducting a feasibility study."

His older brother had already said he planned on making Supercell the core of SoftBank’s gaming busniness, so the idea of relocation is nothing if not consistent.

Finland – land of saunas and race car drivers – has a population of just 5.4 million but is home both to Supercell and Angry Birds maker Rovio.

The success of the country’s start-up scene is largely credited to its sterling education system, but Taizo Son is just as interested in the fact that taxes are set to fall to twenty percent next year – half those of his company’s native Japan.

Were GungHo, the maker of hit game Puzzles and Dragons, to relocate it could easily make mobile gaming one of the biggest players in Finland’s economy as its former mainstays of paper and telecom dwindle.

GungHo recently reported its operating profits had fallen by 12 per cent as interest in Puzzles & Dragons waned.

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