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Is Supercell The Fastest Growing Game Company Ever?

Stashed in: Mobile!, Apple, Software!, Candy Crush!, Canada, Awesome, Growth Hacks!, Gamification!, Kaizen, Games, Gamers!, Softbank

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Ilkka Paananen is CEO of Supercell, a startup that has had astonishing growth almost overnight. It has only two titles in Apple's App Store–a tower defense game called Clash of Clans and a social-farming game called Hay Day–but it grossed $100 million last year and $179 million in the first quarter of 2013 alone. Supercell netted $104 million in the quarter, after expenses and Apple’s 30% cut.

Supercell’s developers work in autonomous groups of five to seven people. Each cell comes up with its own game ideas. They run their ideas by Paananen (he can’t remember ever nixing a proposal), then develop those into a game. If the team likes it, the rest of the employees get to play. If they like it, the game gets tested in Canada's iTunes App store. If it’s a hit there it will be deemed ready for global release. This staged approach has killed off four games so far, with each dead project a cause for celebration. Employees crack open champagne to toast their failure. “We really want to celebrate maybe not the failure itself but the learning that comes out of the failure,” says Paananen.

Growth Hack: Test in smaller markets before committing to a large market rollout.

It's 2014 and Clash of Clans is more popular than it ever way.

So is King's Candy Crush. They're going public in 2014 because they're making so much money.

Meanwhile, Rovio has decided they make more money on merchandising than videogames so they're giving away Angry Birds to create more loyalty to their brand.

Mobile gaming companies that get a hit game do really, really well.

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