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Clash of Clans maker Supercell is opening its first games studio in North America run by industry veteran Ryan Wener.
The idea is to make games that you can’t expect from Supercell, including games that work on any platform, not just mobile devices, Wener said in a blog post. Helsinki-based Supercell has been one of the rarities of the mobile gaming industry, with hits such as Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Hay Day, Boom Beach, and Brawl Stars. Revenue in 2020 exceeded $ 1.48 billion.
Wener said in a blog post that the company is capitalizing on development talent in North America, “long recognized for creating exceptional and deep gaming experiences for PC and consoles.” And he combines that with the “culture of independent teams and Supercell’s approach to creating great games played by the most mainstream for years and years.”
He said, “If you’re an ambitious founder-type game developer who wants to try to answer this question with us and create some amazing games that are played around the world, then we should talk about it. I’ll try to explain what we think we can do, why you should do it here, and who we’re looking to join.
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Wener has been with Supercell for almost nine years and spent eight years in product management at Activision. He was Product Manager for Destiny and Director of Global Brand Management for Guitar Hero and DJ Hero.
Games you might not expect from Supercell
Over the past 11 years, Supercell games have been downloaded over five billion times. Wener said 250 million players play the company’s games every month. Each of its five games has generated over $ 1 billion in revenue, and Clash of Clans and Hay Day will be celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2022.
To date, Clash of Clans and Clash Royale have combined to generate over $ 10 billion in revenue. Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen quoted:
Over 11 years ago, we founded Supercell with the belief that the best people and teams create the best games. Our goal was simply to be the best place for these teams, a place where the world’s most talented game developers could do the best work of their careers.
The expansion of our game development teams with a new North American studio is an extremely exciting time in Supercell’s history. Supercell has always been a Finnish company with a strong global perspective and that’s why we know that creating great games isn’t just about one city or one country – it can come from anywhere in the world, and by having playing teams in Europe, Asia and North America, we can empower more teams than ever to create the best games possible.
I can’t wait to see how the innovation and talent of the Americas intertwines with Supercell’s independent culture to create new kinds of games that no one has seen before.
Wener said the company is looking for top talent in North America to create the next step on any platform, not just mobile.
“We want to create ambitious games that gamers can’t expect from Supercell,” said Wener. “If you dream of reinventing a deep gaming experience for the widest possible audience across the world, then this might be the right opportunity. If you have a game idea in mind, reinventing your favorite gameplay to create something entirely new, then we should talk about it.
Wener said that at Supercell, the independent gaming teams have full ownership of what they build and how they build it. Each team functions as a small “cell” and the company now has more than 360 people. It might sound like a lot, but for a business with so much income and profit, it’s still small. And that’s why the company has plenty of opportunities to grow further or invest in other game studios.
“Developers at other companies may be used to the checks and balances, go-ahead processes, and executive oversight,” Wener said. “We believe mechanisms like these rob development teams of ownership, slow them down, and hamper creativity, resulting in worse games. So we just don’t work that way.
If a team has an idea for a unique gameplay or progression system, they can try it out, he said. They can create new intellectual property or use an existing Supercell brand.
Wener said Supercell will find a founder and a core team who will come together around that founder, and who will be the core of the studio.
“We’re looking for ambitious Founders who can build a team from scratch, who have game ideas they are dying to develop and who will treat this team like a startup within Supercell,” said Wener.
Possibility of forming a representative team
Starting a new team and a new studio is a unique opportunity in the games industry to push for greater representation and inclusion in game development, Wener said.
“When we talk about making games for the biggest audience possible, we mean games enjoyed by players from all walks of life, all over the world,” Wener said. “We need to strive for our development teams – including this news – to have that same level of representation and inclusion. “
Wener said the past two years have shown that great work can happen in different ways and in different places. This studio will be flexible in terms of location.
“We are open-minded about ways to approach this, from colocation in San Francisco (Supercell’s US office since 2011) or elsewhere in North America, to building this team for remote work,” said declared Wener. “Or a hybrid / a combination could also work. “
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