Supercell is by no means a new name in the video games industry. The Helsinki-based Finnish company has been widely known for games such as Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Clash Royale and more. However, their success seems to have plateaued in the past year or so. In a lengthy blog post on the official website, CEO IIka Pannaen outlined, among many other things, how Supercell is slowly moving away from its traditional small team game development approach to deliver more in the long run.
Why Supercell is revamping its small team approach
Pannaen remarked that he once felt that small development teams would benefit the company more because small teams were more willing to take risks. This birthed the company ‘culture’ of assigning small teams for both new games and live games.
Now, however, Pannaen says he realized that small development teams are better suited when “you are trying to build something from scratch” which isn’t the case for games that have already gone live. Pannaen acknowledges that it was his mistake for sticking to smaller development teams in recent years as he had believed that it was an integral part of the company ethos.
Pannaen says that his thoughts have changed. He no longer believes in having a “small” team for game development. He mentions that Supercell is still trying to find the “right balance” when it comes to team size.
The Finnish CEO acknowledges that there may be more failures ahead as the company tries to change its ethos but still feels confident that everyone at Supercell will adapt well. He also said that the larger teams would help lessen the workload and thus improve the overall mental well-being of employees.
Despite this, Pannaen stressed that this did not mean that he would be scrapping the “independent game team” formula that had brought Supercell great success over the years. He states that he still fully believes that team’s function at their best levels when they are left alone and given full control over a project.
It remains to be seen if Supercell will reap the rewards of their change in strategy when it comes to development for future titles. And he has confirmed that 7 new Supercell titles are already in various stages of development.
What are your thoughts about Supercell’s small team approach of doing innovation? Tell us in the comments below.