supercell-reports-2023-revenues-drop-4%-to-$1.82b-while-profits-dip-8%

Supercell Reports 2023 Revenues Drop 4% To $1.82B While Profits Dip 8%

Supercell

Image Credit: Supercell

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Supercell reported its 2023 revenues were $1.82 billion (€1.698 billion), down 4.2% from a year earlier while a key measure of profitability was $498 million (€465 million), down 8.2%.

The Helsinki, Finland-based game developer and publisher posted very healthy results for the year, given the turmoil in mobile games as multiple challenges hit the industry at once. But Supercell, which is majority-owned by Tencent, is one of the strongest companies in the industry thanks to the endurance of games like Clash of Clans and Clash Royale.

The company reports financial results annually thanks to a small public investment it received from the Finnish government years ago. And Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell, said in a statement that the company proudly paid its taxes, which amounted to $117.8 million. The company has more than 200 million monthly active players.

The company said it reported another year of resilient financial performance, team growth and strategic advancements in game development. The company’s mobile gaming portfolio continues to solidify its standing in the gaming industry by focusing on both new and live game development.

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Strategic pivots game teams

As the year began, Supercell grappled with the challenge of balancing innovation in new game development while sustaining and enhancing its existing live games. To tackle this, the company introduced a novel perspective, treating its game teams as independent entities at various life stages, each with distinct needs.

“At the beginning of the year, Supercell was facing the dilemma of how to ensure new games’ teams have the independence and freedom to innovate while supporting live games teams with the resources and structure to continue to delight existing and new players and deliver new experiences,

taking games to the next level,” Paananen said.

The challenge was how to preserve the culture while still expanding and keeping what was unique about the company and its people.

“At some point, I realized that the mental model we could apply to new games was something very close to home,” Paananen said. “As a serial founder/entrepreneur and as an active investor (within Supercell and on my own), I’ve seen great new innovations from startups. So I started to ask myself: what if we started to think of new game teams as their own startups, within Supercell? What helpful ideas could we apply? Turns out quite a few.”

New game development adopted a startup-like approach, empowering small, agile teams to innovate rapidly and pivot when necessary, Paananen said. Simultaneously, live game teams, facing challenges similar to scale-up companies, were structured as independent businesses with increased resources. This strategic move allowed Supercell to produce more content and features, ensuring a continuously improving gaming experience for players. Notably, all five of Supercell’s live games demonstrated growth every quarter throughout the past year.

Financial performance reflects building mode

Supercell said it expanded its skilled workforce, concluding 2023 with a headcount of 525. The company also bolstered its leadership team with key hires, including Sara Bach as head of live games and Fernanda Romano as chief marketing officer.

“This is the most exciting time in the history of Supercell. We are starting this year from a very strong position,” said Paananen. “First, our live games grew every single quarter last year, and this momentum has carried over to this year. Moreover, our live games teams are better resourced than ever, so I am excited to see what these teams can deliver for our players – what we are seeing right now is just the beginning. Second, I am incredibly excited about our new games pipeline, from Clash Mini to Squad Busters to Mo.co, and also the next wave of games that will follow.”

As Supercell ventures into 2024, its strong financial standing, innovative strategies, and a robust pipeline of games position it as a force to be reckoned with in the dynamic and competitive gaming industry.

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