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Supercell: "You have to do what's right for players"

Ilkka Paananen calls for free-to-play developers to be pro-active

Supercell's chief executive has suggested that free-to-play developers need to be pro-active about addressing issues such as exploiting players and in-app purchases in games designed for younger players.

"It's such a new industry, you have to do what's right for players. Some of the negative PR around free-to-play stuff has been a shame," Ilkka Paananen told The Guardian.

"It's really up to us as an industry to get pro-active about this stuff and do things that are right for our players. If we don't, someone else will come in, and there's going to be legislation."

During the interview he was also critical of free-to-play titles created through data and metrics, rather than good old fashioned games design where player enjoyment is the priority.

"Games are still a form of art, not a form of science. You can't design fun on a spreadsheet. And if you want to make an industry for the long-term, if you can't create fun games, there's no future."

Supercell is the studio behind the hugely successful Clash Of Clans, which has earned the title of top grossing iPad game in 122 countries. In October last year the company revealed that it was seeing $350,000 a day in revenue from both Clans and its other hit, Hay Day.

"The huge irony here is that if the monetisation is not your number one priority, that actually leads to better monetisation," said Paananen.

"When you prioritise engagement and retention - making a great game that people play often and want to play for a long time - they are happy to pay. We want to design games that people can theoretically play for years."

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Latest comments (4)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
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Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship3 years ago
Very impressive!

It's not *really* comparing like with like, though, is it? Wouldn't a more valid comparison be with the very highest-end console games, or perhaps even a successful AAA MMO? The kind of success Supercell are having is really only restricted to a handful of mega-successful mobile companies, no?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
Bruce, why must you force arbitrary comparisons in every single article you reply to? Mobile and console are not competitors, they are accomplices.

When are you going to learn that?


Congrats, Supercell. I like that line of thinking.
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Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media3 years ago
@Bruce, why do you keep attacking consoles so much? I mean, I'm happy and lucky to work for both platforms, as well as PC, board games, whatever relates to the gaming industry, and I assume lots of people here have their eggs in different baskets. If a sector would end up going under, it would be really bad news, but you seem to want just that! It seems not the platforms, but you and you alone, are at war. I really, honestly don't get it.
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