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Supercell hooks Playfish co-founder

Supercell hooks Playfish co-founder

Thu 30 May 2013 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT

Kristian Segerstrale joins Clash of Clans studio's board, touts long-term plan over short-term growth

The latest darling developer of the gaming startup set has added a new director to its board who has some experience with that particular situation. Supercell today announced that it appointed Kristian Segerstrale, co-founder of Playfish and Macrospace (later Glu Mobile) to its board of directors.

Segerstrale, a limited partner at VC firm Initial Capital, has been involved with Supercell from the beginning, as Initial led the studio's original round of financing in 2010. The Supercell appointment is his first new post since leaving his position as Electronic Arts' executive vice president of digital games in February. (Segerstrale had remained with EA after the publisher acquired Playfish in 2009.)

Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Segerstrale said one of the things that drew him to the Supercell opportunity was the "incredibly mature and thoughtful" way the company has taken its success in stride. Even though its two iOS titles, Clash of Clans and Hay Day, have been phenomenally successful (accounting for $104 million in profits in the first quarter of this year), Supercell has resisted the urge to push out more games and grow its headcount quickly instead of hiring only the best.

"I don't think mobile games companies that are successful like Supercell right now should try to be the next Disney, or EA, or Pixar," Segerstrale said. "Actually, the world is in such an interesting place that Supercell should just be Supercell, and what I'm hoping to do is contribute my experience and learnings and successes and failures to that management team's thinking."

That could be taken as a slight jab at another Finnish phenom, Angry Birds developer Rovio. Executives with that studio have repeatedly used the multimedia success of Disney as a long-term goal for the company's growth.

Although Segerstrale acknowledged growing interest publicly around the console market thanks to the impending arrival of next-gen systems from Sony and Microsoft, he suggested Supercell would be laser-focused on mobile platforms.

"The future vision of the industry is one where people will no longer play as much on these shared screens in the living room, and media consumption as a whole will continue to gravitate toward personal screens," Segerstrale said.

And even though former Zynga investors might beg to differ, Segerstrale said social gaming will continue to loom large in the industry.

"It initially blew up as a vertical and was gaming on Facebook," Segerstrale said of social gaming, "but after that it took more of a horizontal turn, to where gaming initially on mobile and tablets and now consoles and everywhere else [now] incorporate social gaming elements. And many of the principles that were built up in social gaming around microtransactions, games-as-a-service, and events have actually transcended Facebook to become just part of the fabric of the gaming industry."

In particular, Segerstrale said Supercell has built on the pioneering efforts of others in the social industry and appropriated them for use in the mobile and tablet market.


Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
An indicator of the time we are in.
EA lose their VP digital and he pops up at SuperCell.
This was a huge loss for EA and a huge win for SuperCell.
A changing of the guard as the old school publishers get left behind and the new digital publishers take over the mantle.

Posted:A year ago


Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts

15 94 6.3

Posted:A year ago


Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Peter Moore

Shows what a good job Kristian was doing.
And nearly 1,000 titles on the Apple App Store is a significant presence for EA.
However SuperCell have been grossing more than EA there with just two titles.

Posted:A year ago


Iain Stanford Experienced Software Engineer, Tinderstone

33 126 3.8
Bruce you often seem like a perfect case example of confirmation bias in these comment sections.

If Peter had posted a quote showing a decrease in growth for EA, you would have said "See, like I said EA are struggling, boxed products, consoles dieing, all hail F2P apps as literally the only possible option". If Peter had shown no change in growth, you would have said "See, its about to start declining...etc". But Peter quoted an INCREASE in revenue and you STILL post along the lines of "See, I was right, Kristian (not EA?) was doing well ,they are now just about to decline......all hail F2P, consoles are dead, mobile is literally the only possible future".

Posted:A year ago


Peter Moore Chief Operating Officer, Electronic Arts

15 94 6.3
Our digital business continues to be a diversified mix of high growth, profitable segments. Breaking the digital revenue down by type shows the following:

Posted:A year ago


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