The breakout tracks at RovioCon Google 2023 covered a wide array of subjects around the business and art of game making. Read on to discover some key takeaways from the talks in each track: AI, Growth, Creativity, Inclusion & People, and Product.

Article Rovio Blog default 22.12.2023

RovioCon Google 2023 was held on November 29, 2023. Billed as a groundbreaking event that promises to reshape the landscape of innovation and collaboration. In the seven years since getting its start as an internal event at Rovio, RovioCon has emerged as a platform where industry leaders, tech enthusiasts, and thought leaders converge to explore the forefront of possibilities. The annual event aims to create an environment where ideas are cultivated, alliances are forged, and the future of technology is unveiled.

This year, the conversation unfolded in five breakout tracks centered on different topics facing game creators today: AI, Growth, Creativity, Inclusion & People, and Product. Each breakout track featured talks and panels from notable guests in the games and entertainment industries, who detailed their experiences and expertise to an audience of over 900 attendees. Read on to learn more about some of the best moments from RovioCon Google 2023 in three key takeaways from each track.


Creativity Track – Crafting Joy

Transmedia success grows from rich worlds.

Pablo Jordi, CEO, Pikkukala
Welcome to the Fungihouse: Developing Original IPs in a Transmedia World

Animation studio Pikkukala initially developed their Fungihouse IP as an animated series with a distinctive visual style, enchanting locales, and an extensive cast of unique characters. Seeing the possibilities for storytelling within Roblox, the studio began translating the Fungihouse world into an explorable digital environment, an opportunity afforded by the studio’s dedication to creating such a rich and detailed IP.


“Don’t trust data.

Juho Rautvaara, Creator, JesusGuised
Learn How To Attract Gen-Z by Finland’s Leading Short Form Creator

When making games at Rovio, data is our bread and butter so this was an especially hot take. However, when it comes to making short form video content that resonates with gen z, by the time you get your results, it might already be too late. Trends move fast.


A good story is a good story.

Tatu Petersen-Jessen, Senior Art Director, Rovio – Panel host
Juho Rautvaara, Creator, JesusGuised
Pablo Jordi, CEO, Pikkukala
Karen Hunt, Narrative Craft Director, Rovio
Kendra Johnson, Global Head of Gaming Publishers, YouTube, Google
Panel: Tomorrow’s Tales, aligning Your Creative Compass for Future Audience

It doesn’t matter whether you’re making 15 second TikTok videos, creating a game world, or building a story on multiple platforms simultaneously – good stories engage people, inspire players and readers to act, and if they’re really good, they just might change your life.


Growth Track – Reimagining Scale

Together, everyone achieves more.

Jeremy Widdowson, Performance Marketing Lead, Rovio
Szilard Szabo, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Rovio
Leading Beyond Silos: Achieving Holistic Growth

When working in multidisciplinary teams, have you experienced differing priorities, resource allocation disputes, unclear decision making processes, or a lack of trust? You might be working in a silo. Not to worry! Jeremy and Szilard shared their experience, and by defining and rallying behind a shared focus, getting their tools aligned, and getting people excited, they were able to have their teams so unified, it was honestly a little spooky.


Automation can be a shield against the ‘complexity explosion’.

Di Wang, App Ads Eng Lead, Google
Wenjing Ma, Ads Modelling & Personalisation, Google
Behind the Automated Machine: How App Campaigns Apply Optimization Techniques

For marketers searching for valuable users, it’s a complex world out there. With different ads, different places and ways ads can be displayed, different audience segments to reach, it’s a lot. Luckily Google is able to cleverly employ prediction models and machine learning to simplify bidding and better understand potential users.


When it comes to privacy, always be ready for change.

Michail Katkoff, Founder, Deconstructor of Fun – Panel host
Ross Brockman, Head of Apps Monetization, Google
Philip Hickey, CMO, SYBO
How to Grow Your Mobile Game Business in the Age of Privacy

With a lot of focus going to IDFA recently, it is important to remember that new regulations could be around the corner at all times. To avoid issues adapting, game companies must stay ahead of the curve by never assuming things will stay the same, avoiding a reactive approach, and having people in your organization whose work is dedicated to privacy.


AI Track – Transforming Gaming

AI Track – Transforming Gaming

AI generated art can help, but can’t do everything.

Bee Steer, Machine Learning Engineer, Rovio
Jorge Ramírez Carrasco, Lead Machine Learning Engineer, Rovio
The Art of Generation: Exploring the Creative Power of AI in Angry Birds

When set to the task of creating cosmetic items, backgrounds, and playable levels in Angry Birds games, AI can only go so far. Training AI models on Rovio’s massive in-house library of art and levels resulted in output that can save time and can be a great source of inspiration for artists and level designers, but is far from being a replacement for them.


AI is a game changer for game prototyping and iteration.

Tomi Huttula, CEO, Cosmic Lounge
How Cosmic Lounge is Using AI to Change the Game

Cosmic Lounge’s puzzle engine that uses AI enhanced technology is estimated to allow 10 times faster prototyping and allows the creation of 5 times more content in live operations than what is typically done without AI. Given how fast things can change in mobile gaming, being able to create new content and iterate quickly is essential for success.


AI makes it easy to bring imagination to life.

Sean Kauppinen, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Hiber
Embracing AI for Game Development

How can you solve the blank canvas dilemma? Hiber, a platform for creating and playing 3D worlds, is testing technology with which you can simply type in what you want and start building from there, add objects you want and start creating a game quickly. Users who become creators are three times more likely to come back again.


Product Track – Products for All Audiences

Don’t be afraid of AI.

Roy Conan Alonso Rising, Founder, Quantic Brains Technologies
The Game Changer: AI-Driven Innovation in Game Creation

There is no need for game developers to be alarmed about all of the AI talk going on in the industry lately. AI can be used in many areas of game development including everything from text generation, to voice generation, to animation, and video creation as well. AI is a tool that gives developers a huge advantage that can greatly streamline production pipelines and create possibilities that simply were not there before.


“Focus on your game genre to increase your chances of success.

Simo Rajamäki, VP of Design and Co-founder, Cosmic Lounge
Inside Cosmic Lounge: Leveraging In-House Tech for Game Creation and Operation

According to Simo Rajamäki, it is important for studios to specialize in one genre, so that they can, say, create their own specialized and AI-optimized, puzzle game engine – which is exactly what Cosmic Lounge has done. This offers benefits like opening up game design to more people, allowing changes to be implemented quickly, and allowing the team to easily pivot instead of losing all of their progress.


Players’ first impressions matter.

Niina Ojala, Principal Product Manager, Rovio
Anastasia Kuprina, Lead Product Manager, Rovio
The Joys and Challenges of In-Game Personalization Based on Acquisition source

Rovio’s Beacon platform allows game teams to finely tailor players’ first moments with a game based on the ad that they see or engage with before downloading the game. Attributes like the prices of starter packs, and difficulty, as well as game content such as active events, and even whether they see a tutorial, can all be optimized from the moment they start playing.


Games for Good – Inclusion & People Track

When it comes to making inclusive games, everyone can play.

Heini Kaihu, Chief Sustainability Officer, Rovio
Games for All: Sustainable and Inclusive Game Development

Rovio took the opportunity during RovioCon Google 2023 to launch their Playbook for Inclusive Game Development and Marketing. The guide is full of real world examples and tips on how to make games that consider the diverse audience that they reach. Why exclude anyone from the fun?


“In uncertainty, mind your culture.

Lotta Vuoristo, Chief People Officer, Rovio
Safety: Leading People Through Uncertainty

In 2023, the only certainty is uncertainty. How can we maintain a sense of safety when uncertainty is elevated even on a global level? The key is not to attempt to avoid uncertainty altogether, but to foster a culture where everyone is heard, respected, and supported so that we can all weather the uncertainty together.


Diversity done right depends on authenticity.

Jade Ostle, Game designer, Trailmix
Diverse by Design: Company Values as a Guiding KPI in Love & Pies

There is a fine line between representation and tokenism, and between showing support and rainbow washing. To avoid these issues, it is important that game creators approach representing and celebrating diversity in games with authenticity and that they have the knowledge to back it up, either through research or experience.




RovioCon Google 2023 stands out as an amazing forum for exploring important topics together. We delved into the creativity that fuels our products, the transformative potential of AI, and how we can keep it all running smoothly. We explored how diversity enhances what we do and how we work, and how we can celebrate people from diverse backgrounds, bringing even more players in on the fun. In the end, RovioCon Google 2023 proved to be an enriching experience that not only strengthened our understanding of these topics in the gaming industry but also fostered a sense of unity among everyone who participated.