Wondershop has raised money from Supercell’s cofounders to make games that can make an impact on children who need encouragement and social inclusion.
The Helsinki-based company is a for-profit game studio that has spun out of the We Foundation, a nonprofit started by the founders of Supercell, the maker of Clash Royale and Clash of Clans. Tencent bought Supercell in 2016 at a valuation of $10.2 billion. Supercell’s founders, Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja, started the We Foundation to give back to Finland and help Finnish families.
The foundation operates a community house for children in East Helsinki. The hub, Meltsi, is a community gathering place for children, where they wear a wristband that functions as a game controller. That’s the physical side of the game studio. Wondershop is also working on its first game, Wonderworld, a community game designed to drive social inclusion. That’s the digital side of the studio.
The idea is to redefine the societal role of games, Wondershop CEO Annastiina Salminen said in an interview with GamesBeat. “We want to create this welcoming, inspiring, educational space targeting those who may be at risk” for social exclusion or discrimination, Salminen said. “We want to build and support a vibrant local community.”
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Wondershop is a unique hybrid of a game studio and a foundation, and the majority share of the company’s profits are used to support non-profit work among kids and youth.
Wonderworld’s mission is to advance social equity and inclusion among kids and youth. The gaming experience combines the digital realm with the physical world: children access the game world using a wristband that works as a game controller, and different community