News 7 Mar 2019

Industrial classification of video game enterprises is reviewed - enterprises transferred from programming to publishing

Statistics Finland has reviewed the industrial classification of close on 300 enterprises, whose business activity is related to video games. As a result of the inquiry, the industrial classification of close on 30 enterprises was changed. As a consequence, enterprises, turnover and staff years are moved between industries in the statistics.

The changes in the industrial classification were made in the main group “Information and communication”. Particularly the division of enterprises into the sub-groups “Publishing of computer games”, “Other software publishing”, “Computer programming activities” and “Data processing, hosting and related activities” was reviewed.

The majority of the enterprises, whose industrial classification changed, moved from computer programming activities to publishing. Publishing of computer games refers to acquiring publishing rights for video games and distributing the games in different formats to the public.

“Even though the industrial classification of only around 30 enterprises was changed, these enterprises’ effect on the turnover and staff years of the receiving and ceding industries may be significant” says Senior Statistician Mari Rantanen. “For example, it is estimated that the turnover of the industry Publishing of computer games increases as much as 50-fold and staff years increase by one-third. Correspondingly, one-third of the turnover in the industry Computer programming activities is transferred elsewhere.”

“The move of enterprises, turnover and personnel now visible in the statistics does not describe a real change in the business activities”, Ms Rantanen emphasizes.

There can be several reasons for revisions to the industrial classification. “Some video game enterprises may at the beginning of their business activities have designed and programmed software and only later begun to publish games, and the data on their industrial classification may not have been corrected in Statistics Finland’s inquiries. The Standard Industrial Classification may also have been misinterpreted, and thus activities including publishing may have been reported as programming,” Ms Rantanen states as an example.

The review is based on international statistical classifications and EU Regulations. “According to international practices and the EU Regulation on economic activities, enterprises which publish games are classified into the industry of publishing. After the review, Finnish video game enterprises are uniformly in the same industry as European and international enterprises engaged in similar activities. Thus, the international comparability also improves,” says Ms Rantanen.

Reviewed industrial data will appear in statistical releases in 2019

The industry classification review is visible in all statistics describing business activity on the level of sub-groups in the main industrial group “Information and communication”. In the statistics and indices describing changes between periods, the correction of industry is made retrospectively until 2010, in order to retain the comparability between different years.

Statistics containing the reviewed data on industry will mainly be published during 2019: Turnover of service industries and Wage and salary indices are first to be published in March.

There may be conflicts between the statistics, because they are published at different times and only some of the statistics take into account the corrections to the industry data retrospectively.

Users of statistics can receive further information about the effects of the change of industry for each set of statistics:

Statistics                                

Further information

First release with reviewed data on industry 

Statistical reference year, until which reviewed data on industry have been retrospectively entered

Wage and salary indices 

palvelut.suhdanne@stat.fi

March 2019 

2010 

Turnover of service industries

palvelut.suhdanne@stat.fi

March 2019 

2010 

Annual national accounts 

kansantalous@stat.fi

September
2019 

2011 

Input-output 

kansantalous@stat.fi

September
2019 

2015 

Employment 

tyossakaynti@stat.fi

September
 2019 

2017 

Structural business and financial statement statistics 

rakenne.tilastot@stat.fi

September
2019 

2018 

Business services statistics

yrityspalvelut@stat.fi

October
2019

2018 

Structure of Earnings 

palkkarakenne@stat.fi

2020 

2018 

Index of wage and salary earnings 

palkat.indeksit@stat.fi

2021 

2020 

Further information: Senior Statistician Mari Rantanen, tel. +358 29 551 2451, firstname.lastname@stat.fi

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