Supercell CEO explains thinking behind "very long term" Tencent deal

Ilkka Paananen on his second strategic investor in as many years

Supercell CEO explains thinking behind "very long term" Tencent deal

Given that its deal with SoftBank was headlined with the talk of a partner "whose focus isn't on the next ten years but next hundred years", it was likely a surprised Supercell CEO who found himself explaining a new strategic owner a couple of years later.

But that's what Ilkka Paananen has found himself doing, following the news that Chinese internet giant Tencent has bought out SoftBank's majority shareholding.

One positive is that the deal values Supercell at $10.2 billion.

That's particular great for its staff, all of whom are shareholders and who - vesting options withstanding - can now easily sell out their shares.

As to the more tricky explanation of how the notoriously independent Finnish studio will work with a Chinese company, Paananen was effusive in his praise.

"Tencent's people seem to love games as much as we do," he said in a statement on the Supercell website.

"In fact, in one of my meetings with Martin [Lau] (their President), he had just dropped out from Clash Royale global top-100 players, and it was almost impossible to get his focus back to the topics we had to discuss…"

More players, more taxes

More seriously, Paananen pointed to the fact that thanks to its social media platforms in China, Tencent has access to over 300 million players.

One-time Clash Royale top 100 player Martin Lau and Ilkka Paananen

"Together with Tencent, we can bring our games to so many more players," he explained.

He also underlined that Supercell will continue to be "operationally independent" and "pay our taxes in Finland".

[source: Supercell]

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.