Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Revolving Door at Apaja

What is up with the folks at Finnish creative studio Apaja, the creators of Playray? It seems acting CEO Tiina Zilliacus has been delisted from the management team

And of course, one of the 3 Founders Asmo Halinen has left for "new challenges"
We understand the hunt for new challenges continues as there is nothing new on his blog to report;
There has been a lot of employee and management volatility at Apaja. Same goes for its big brother Sulake, the veritable QUEEN of the Virtual World Drama Houses. And of course Linden Lab rotates people like seasonal crops despite all its TAO and unique working culture spin. This is truly harmful and costs a lot of money and squandered opportunity.

One thing PG has noticed in the vast majority of successful virtual world ventures, like Ganz Interactive (WebKinz) and New Horizon Studios (ClubPenguin) - the management stays consistent and employees stay engaged and onboard with little volatility and turnover and even less day to day "drama". PG cannot help but think that any virtual world developer that keeps its people motivated, happy and engaged will produce vastly superior and successful content offerings than those whose office cultures simply are not attractive enough to keep key people. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why Sulake, Linden and perhaps on a smaller scale, Apaja, despite their early intro and pioneering efforts in the virtual world space and all their innovative achievements over the years, seem to squander the truly big opportunities. On the other hand, competitors like WebKinz and Penguin with harmonious and loyal organizational cultures make it rich ... Culture is so key!

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