Supercell hasn’t ever been a garage-based game studio or an indie project. It started out with considerable venture capital and extensive experience of its founder and CEO, Ilkka Paananen. However, it’s has a lot of differences from other mobile game development industry leaders. Freepps.top experts shared their findings that clarify how Supercell became a multibillion empire with several hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
Five Games – Five Hits
In less than 7 years, this Helsinki-based company has released 5 mobile installments that generate millions every month independently from each other. If we take a look at the company’s youngest title, the Brawl Stars app, we’ll see that it’s growth rates are similar to its predecessors that were released up to 7 years ago.
This team-based shooter grossed over $275 million on in-app purchases in 6 months after the initial launch in December 2018. It’s nearly 25% of the sum that Brawl Stars has to beat to become the next billion-dollar project of Supercell. For instance, in Q1 2019, it generated 35% of the company’s income, Sensor Tower reports.
The franchise features the brand new twin-stick gameplay that’s different from what we saw in Clash Royale and Boom Beach. It’s also very far from Clash of Clans and Hay Day. However, at Freeps.top, we’re convinced that there are things that unite all Supercell’s creations.
It all started with one of the most popular farming simulators ever, Hay Day, that generated $7 million in October 2019 alone, showing incredible sustainability over the 7-year period. Monthly revenues of other titles, including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, and Boom Beach, vary from $1,4 million to $35 million.
Traditional companies have management figures at the top of their corporate “food chains.” Paananen knew that from his own experience at the post of the European manager at Digital Chocolate. That led him to an idea to turn the standard business model upside down. He put creators at the top, avoiding the harmful influence of managers on the content.
The whole company is split into cells of 10-17 developers who focus on a single project at a time. They’re not supposed to wait for the command from above to start working and can make all significant content-creation decisions within the cell. As Paananen told on GDC 2018, there is no central process in the company, which lets teams release their products at the right time.
As you can see in the list of Supercell’s games, 7 of 12 projects were discontinued or stand on the edge of that. Paananen says that in a 5-10 year perspective, failures transform into lessons that teach teams to produce much better products. That’s why Supercell doesn’t fire developers for commercial flops and lets them benefit from their experience in the nearby future.
Unique Way is The Hardest
Despite such a resounding success of the current model, Paananen confesses that the temptation to pass tasks to the traditional management team is sometimes very strong. So here’s the lesson that we’re going to stick to at Freepps.top after researching this case – you always have to resist that temptation and continue to do things your way no matter what.
Daniel is a founder and editor-in-chief at Freepps.top, where his team of experts publishes articles and reviews of mobile apps and games. He graduated in economics and succeeded in web design. That’s why the idea to put creators on the top of the company resonates with his own vision.