Supercell is a mobile game development company founded in June 2010 in Helsinki, Finland. The company's debut game was the browser game Gunshine.net, and after its release in 2011, Supercell started developing games for mobile devices. Since then, the company has fully released four mobile games: Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, and Clash Royale, which are freemium games and have been very successful for the company, the first two generating revenue of $2.4 million a day in 2013.
Accel Partners invested $12 million in Supercell in 2011,and in October 2013 it was announced that the Japanese company GungHo Online Entertainment and its parent SoftBank had acquired 51% of the company for a reported $2.1 billion. On June 1, 2015, SoftBank acquired an additional 22.7% stake in Supercell, which brought their total stake to 73.2% of the company and made them the sole external shareholder. In 2016, Supercell reported annual revenues of around €2.11 billion. In three years, the company's revenues have grown a total of 800 percent, from 78.4 million (2012).
On June 21, 2016 Tencent announced a deal to acquire 84.3% of Supercell with USD 8.6 billion. Japan's SoftBank values Supercell at $10.2 billion.
Development of business
In March 2012, Supercell's revenue on Apple's App Store was greater than any other developer's. From 2013 to 2015, the revenue increased by 562% and by 198% in the next annual period, which is why the company's revenue had increased into 1.5 billion euros. In 2014, the company made into the top-50 of Finland's largest companies. In 2015, the revenue increased by 36% and the profits by 60%, and the company also bought shares and options from its employees for 114 million euros. Supercell does not use tax shelters, and pays all of its taxes to Finland. In 2013, the company and its founders paid a combined 260 million as corporate and income taxes, which was 0.6 percent of Finland's tax revenue that year. In the following year, the company paid 150 million in taxes, and 176 million euros of corporate taxes in 2015.
The employees of Supercell had a lot of experience from the video game industry. Lasse Louhento had started at Bloodhouse, and Lassi Leppinen was the chief programmer at Sumea and Digital Chocolate. Their team had spent months on a fantasy themed Facebook game when Supercell changed strategies. Leppinen and Louhento wanted to make a strategy game that would utilise a touch screen so playing would be as simple and pleasant as possible. The development of Clash of Clans took six months, and the game was released in August 2012. In three months, it became the most profitable app in the US. According to App Annie, in the years 2013 and 2014 Clash of Clans was the most profitable mobile game in the world. The eponymous battle between the clans was added to the game as late as in 2014.
In summer 2013, Supercell started marketing collaboration with the Japanese GungHo: the companies cross-marketed each others' games in their own games in their own markets. As a result, Clash of Clans became one of the most downloaded apps in Japan. GungHo's chairman of the board Taizo Son flew to Finland to thank Paananen and later introduced him to his brother Masayoshi Son, the CEO of the SoftBank Corporation. Soon, they proposed a corporate acquisition which indeed happened in October 2013. SoftBank and GungHo bought 51% of Supercell's shares for 1.1 billion euros which is the largest price for a Finnish private company in history. In six months, Supercell's value had tripled, since in spring 2013 the company had sold 16.7% of its shares for 100 million euros
Both Clash of Clans and Hay Day were released in the summer 2012, and Supercell did not release a new game in almost two years. The designing of the third game Boom Beach started in the fall of 2012, and it was released in 2014. The new strategy game was released to the test market at the end of 2013, after which it went through large changes. The game was very successful in the US right after its release in March, but it did not stay at the top of the download charts for very long. However, it rose to the top 30 of the most downloaded iPhone apps after.