At 15 years on the job and the 20th year for the company, Remedy Entertainment chief executive Matias Myllyrinne announced he has resigned from the publisher that brought us games like Alan Wake and Max Payne. He’s leaving to take a job at World of Tanks publisher Wargaming.
Myllyrinne will be replaced by Remedy cofounder Markus Mäki, who will become executive chairman of Remedy. Remedy is still working on a major exclusive for Microsoft’s Xbox One: Quantum Break, which has been delayed until 2016. The departure is a big change for a company that has set itself apart in games, but has also played a big role in spawning many of Finland’s successful game startups.
Myllyrinne joined Remedy in 1999, and he became CEO in 2008. At that time, Remedy had about 30 people. The company pushed out Alan Wake, a memorable exclusive on the Xbox 360 game console, which strengthened the company’s reputation as a storytelling game studio. Time magazine named the title as its game of the year in 2010. Now there are 130 people from 20 different countries at Remedy. The company has seen five consecutive years of profit in a competitive market, and it has branched into console, PC, and mobile games.
“It is time for me to move on. It has been a great ride and it now is the right time to start another adventure,” he said in a blog post. “Remedy will be an unbelievably tough act to follow. I’ll take on an exciting role for Wargaming. I am humbled by the opportunity to join a juggernaut organization and look forward to new challenges -more about that at a later point.”
Myllyrinne is the second major figure to exit Remedy. Last week, Remedy Entertainment franchise chief Oskari “Ozz” Häkkinen announced he had left to start a new mobile-game and app startup called Futurefly.
“This has always been more than a job,” he wrote. “We’ve struggled together for something good and meaningful – holding a shared purpose and forged friendships under pressure when our true characters are tested. We’ve wanted to build not only great games but a great organization.”
As for Quantum Break, he said, “Quantum Break will be our biggest game to date and the company has more talent and opportunities than ever. We are yet to see Remedy’s best game.”
I’ll never forget my interview with Myllyrinne in a Finnish sauna, 300 feet in the air at the end of a shaky crane. We did it at last year’s Slush 2014 conference, and he was happy about the “golden age of gaming,” as much as it’s become a cliché.
“It’s more about success than it is about survival. I’m proud of the way that we’ve shipped our games,” he said in our interview. “I’m proud of the games we’ve made. The years, not really. That just comes naturally.”
Here’s Myllyrinne’s fully goodbye message:
This year marks the 20th anniversary for Remedy and 15 years for me with the studio. I’ve been with Remedy since 1999 – this is a long time in a fast paced industry. It is time for me to move on. It has been a great ride and it now is the right time to start another adventure. Remedy will be an unbelievably tough act to follow.
I’ll take on an exciting role for Wargaming. I am humbled by the opportunity to join a juggernaut organization and look forward to new challenges – more about that at a later point.
The future is more important than the past, but I’m humbled by what we have achieved together and feel grateful for having worked with such awesome people.
This has always been more than a job. We’ve struggled together for something good and meaningful– holding a shared purpose and forged friendships under pressure when our true characters are tested. We’ve wanted to build not only great games -but a great organisation.
Every bit of achievement or success I have had is due to the talent and hard work of the crew. It has always been a team effort and I am glad to have played my part. I have been lucky enough to work with great partners along the way but most of all I am humbled to have worked with such talent. I like to think that Remedy is a place where people can achieve their potential. I have certainly learned through the years and continue to be awestruck by what the team does daily.
My last working day will be in a few weeks. Our co-founder, Markus will step in now and take on an Executive Chairman role. Also matters on the business and management side are in firm hands, Mika and I have worked tightly together since 2000. We go back to business school all the way to 1993. Even then we shared a love of video games and never would have dreamt that we could make a living working with them☺
When I took on the responsibility of CEO in 2008 we had around 30 people – frankly, we turned around Alan Wake and the studio. We pushed and with sheer force of will created Alan Wake -Time Magazines game of the year 2010. Our characters are judged in adversity -not days of success.
Today the team is over a 130 strong and represents talent from 20 nationalities and we have enjoyed five consecutive years of profit in a competitive market. We remain one of the few independent studios in the world who have had a hit on console, PC and mobile.
We’ve built a culture and team that is at the world class, along the way producing new and original franchises that entertain millions. Sam has been a key part of these and his creative stewardship continues. We’ve complimented each other’s skills and if anything we’ve had some wicked fun along the way.
For countless sacrifices and support, thanks to my loving wife Kirsikka for her support and understanding.
To partners who visited Helsinki, I must confess it is not a Finnish custom to taste the “Classic 5” (I actually made that shit up). Jallu, Minttu, Salmari, Kossu and Fisu are not the Finnish equivalent of classic single malts… For having played my part in any injury, I am sorry.
Remedy has been the West Point for many of the brightest game industry luminaries in Helsinki. We’ve been around for a long time and I am proud that we’ve helped people learn and develop. Our alumni have moved on to build more success stories. While the credit is theirs – I like to think that a little bit of Remedy DNA has helped make Finland the development hotspot it is today.
After our team, I like to think of our alumni as our best ambassadors and supporters. It is my time to join this group.
Quantum Break will be our biggest game to date and the company has more talent and opportunities than ever. We are yet to see Remedy’s best game.
Remedy and the crew will always have a place in my heart.