Supercell: the Helsinki maker of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale
Supercell is a mobile game developer based in Helsinki, Finland, with offices in San Francisco, Seoul, and Shanghai. The company`s mission is to make the best games that are played by as many people as possible, enjoyed for years, and remembered forever.
The company was founded in 2010 by Ilkka Paananen, Lassi Leppinen, Mikko Kodisoja, Niko Derome, Petri Styrman, and Visa Forsten. Since its launch, Supercell has brought five games to the global market – Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars.
The first office of Supercell was in Niittykumpu in Espoo, Finland. Its initial funding came from the founders investing their savings into the company. On top of that, founders have borrowed as much money as they could from Tekes, the Finnish government’s funding agency for technology and innovation.
Today, the team includes 280 people working across its four offices. These people come from over 30 different countries, which helps them build a truly multicultural and global environment.
Its first game was called Gunshine.net. It was a real-time massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The team managed to launch the private beta version of Gunshine in February 2011, and the open beta launched a few months later. At its peak in the summer of 2011, Gunshine had around half a million monthly players. Then the company has secured an investment of $12 million from Accel Partners.
Soon, they realized Gunshine wouldn’t be successful because the game could not hold the interest of the players for a long time, it was too difficult to play, there were no mobile and also browser versions. The company changed its strategy and decided to focus on games for the iPad.
When they launched The Hay Day beta in May 2012, the engagement was crazy from day one, and it just kept growing. Slowly the team started to realize that perhaps, finally, they were onto something.
In the first four months, HayDay became one of the most grossing games on the US App Store and was one of the most grossing games in the world for 2.5 years. HayDay was a farm simulator. The game received regular updates until 2016. Later, development was temporarily suspended and only resumed in December 2016.
Then, Clash of Clans is a freemium PVP strategy game that was launched globally in August 2012. It took six months to create Clash of Clans. Both Clash and Hay Day grew steadily from day one. It took Clash three months from launch to become the #1 top-grossing game in the U.S. In 2018, the app was also added to the Amazon store.
In 2020, Clash of Clans still has a passionate fanbase and still ranks highly on the App Store and Google Play Store. According to PlayerCounter, the top five countries by active daily participation including the USA, Turkey, China, Germany, and Russia. Since its launch, Clash of Clans has brought in over $6.4 Billion worldwide.
In 2013, Supercell was known to be making $2.4 Million per day from Hay Day and Clash of Clans. The same year, SoftBank and GungHo bought 51% of SuperCell for $1.3 billion, the largest price paid for a Finnish private company. Then, in 2015 Softbank acquired another 22.7% of SuperCell shares, increasing its share in the company to 73.2% and becoming the only external shareholder.
After releasing Clash of Clans and HayDay in the summer of 2012, Supercell hasn’t offered new games on the market for almost two years. Boom Beach was launched in 2014. The new strategy game was very successful in the United States immediately but failed to stay at the top of the charts for long. However, thanks to an expensive marketing campaign, Boom Beach was able to enter the top 30 most downloaded iPhone apps and surpassed Hay Day in the charts in 2015.
In 2016, Supercell released a new game, Clash Royale. Clash Royale became the main “competitor” of Clash of Clans in terms of popularity. Clash Royale is a mobile electronic sports game that pits players in head-to-head strategic matches. Since its launch, the game generated over $1 billion in revenue in less than a year, and now has over 50 million daily active users.
In 2017, Supercell launched Brawl Stars in Canada. The game has reached 100 million downloads globally after launching in December 2018, according to Sensor Tower. South Korea was the largest market for Brawl Stars, with an estimated $61 million, or 22 percent, contributed to the overall revenue.
In March 2020, the company has released its latest game, Hay Day Pop. According to the company, Hay Day Pop is a match-and-solve puzzle game where players can collect exclusive rewards and use them to build their own “country.”
However, on November 30, 2020, the company decided to make the hard decision to end the development of Hay Day Pop. The team feels that Hay Day Pop does not meet the standards they have set for themselves and its players.
Supercell in figures
- over 135 countries
- about $1.56 billion in revenue per year
- 4 offices
- 5 live games
- 2012 — Hay Day
- 2012 — Clash of Clans
- 2013 — Boom Beach
- 2016 — Clash Royale
- 2017 — Brawl Stars
- 2020 — Hay Day Pop