Team member spotlight: Jeroen Coessens

Game Designer Jeroen Coessens joined our studio in 2022, and since coming to Finland, Jeroen’s spent a lot of time connecting with industry peers and learning about the specialties of the Finnish game industry – which according to him resembles one big family.

We met up with Jeroen, currently working in the Rainbow Six Mobile team, to hear more about his background in the industry and how he has found his place in the Finnish game development community.

Jeroen grew up and studied game development in Belgium and came to work in Finland after scoring an internship for a company that resided in the small coastal town of Kotka.

“Compared to Helsinki, Kotka gave me a very honest Finnish experience”, Jeroen laughs.

“I got to know very quickly how to navigate the Finnish culture, which came in handy when I moved to Helsinki and joined the robust network of game development professionals”.

He also appreciates the work-life balance in Finland, a commitment taken seriously also in the local game industry.

“Moving to Finland had an enormous impact on me. I’ve had my first real job experience here, and the Finnish gaming industry introduced me to an exceptional work-life balance. I feel at home in the Helsinki game development community”, Jeroen says.

From colleagues to good friends

According to Jeroen, trying out new things and continuously developing your expertise throughout your career is highly encouraged in the industry. He has found it useful to explore these opportunities outside of work as well, for example through professional networks and communities.

After coming to Finland, Jeroen quickly became familiar with IGDA Finland, the beating heart of the Finnish game development community. Kotka had some smaller IGDA meetings, but after his developing career brought him to Helsinki, Jeroen was finally able to see the whole picture.

“The Finnish game industry culture is based on closeness. People enjoy sharing their experiences and connecting with colleagues from different companies. We have countless networking events organized by different associations, companies, and communities. I’ve met many people by taking part in these kinds of events”, Jeroen shares.

“Many of the people I’ve met are now my good friends. Events are a great way to know what’s happening in the industry and they offer a lot of networking opportunities for us game developers – and for people who are interested in learning more about the industry”, he continues.

Jeroen thinks that something special about Finland and Helsinki specifically is the number of events with a focus on connecting people from different companies.

“I have not experienced this level of inter-company communication in other parts of the world to this extent”, he says.

Jeroen encourages aspiring game designers and game industry professionals to join communities and networking events when they want to pursue their careers, especially in Finland.

“The game developer community gives you opportunities to meet professionals from every level of experience. Even though there are many different companies, people enjoy getting to know each other. There are also specific events and groups for game designers and other disciplines. These are the best for gaining feedback and connections from people in your own field”, he advises.

Work-life balance, talented colleagues… and hot chocolate!

Many of the elements Jeroen appreciates most about the Finnish game development culture – like talented people and great work-life balance – are something he is happy to have around him at our studio.

“In the game industry, people are often dedicated to their projects and want to give them their all, which can lead to working overtime and trying to meet difficult deadlines. In general, I feel like many Finnish companies are very aware of these issues, and promote a great work-life balance”, Jeroen says, thinking back on his career.

“I’m also happy that this is the case at Ubisoft RedLynx too”, he says.

For Jeroen, the Finnish game development culture that he appreciates is present at his job at the studio:

“At RedLynx, I feel surrounded by really competent people that I can learn a lot from. My team is a diverse group of lively people, and there is a strong focus on finding out how to work together best, which has made us very close”, he explains.

Even though Jeroen has immersed himself in the Finnish culture for the past six years, there is still one thing that he has not picked up, at least yet: drinking excessive amounts of coffee.

“I am still not a coffee drinker. But as a Belgian, I need my daily chocolate intake, and thankfully RedLynx offers amazing hot chocolate”, he laughs.

Thank you for the interview, Jeroen!


Article written by Ilari Hauhia