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Supercell's 45% revenue increase in 2021 follows staff burnout

2021 revenue reached $2.24 billion, and a message about sustainable working from Supercell CEO

Supercell's 45% revenue increase in 2021 follows staff burnout

Clash of Clans developer Supercell has revealed its 2021 revenue reached $2.24 billion – a 45.3 per cent increase from $1.48 billion in 2020, and further distancing itself from the three-year revenue decline broken in 2020.

Supercell’s pre-EBITDA profit amounted to $852 million, a considerable increase over its 2020 pre-tax profit of $463 million.

Fundamental questions at Supercell

Despite this success, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen noted in a blog post the need for “fundamental questions start[ing] a deep discussion at Supercell”.

Speaking on the company’s financial success, Paananen stated: “I am not exactly sure if it was because of the past success, but as of a year ago, the fact was that our games had not really grown that much in the past few years, and also, we had not launched a new game since Brawl Stars (which launched globally in December 2018).”

Paananen also spoke of lingering issues around the team formation and sizes at Supercell, which has traditionally affixed its identity around small teams. “However, the situation changes once a game team starts heading towards beta and becomes a live game team.”

Paananen noted the company’s decision to keep its “mantra of small teams” resulted in teams pushing themselves too hard, and “in a few cases, extra content for the players came at the expense of peoples’ health and even led to symptoms of burn out.

“Ultimately, this, of course, was my mistake […] I realized that I was actually the one who had the fixed mindset, stuck in the thinking from our past. Definitely one of the biggest mistakes of the many that I’ve made in my career, and one that I will remember forever.”

Prior to the release of the financial results, Supercell’s Touko Tahkokallio spoke with PocketGamer.biz on the journey of Clash Quest, from prototype to its current stage.


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Unlike many of the stalwart hands at Steel Media, Khai joins PocketGamer.biz fresh to both the games media and the wider games industry. There is much to learn, and he wants you onboard that journey.

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