Finnish developer Supercell is known for making three things: mobile strategy game Clash of Clans, social farming title Hay Day, and truckloads of cash.
In a whopper of a deal, Japanese investor SoftBank and Puzzle & Dragon studio GungHo Online Entertainment have acquired a 51 percent stake in Supercell for $1.53 billion to get in on those truckloads. GungHo is responsible for 20 percent of the investment. The Clash of Clans developer says it will use this influx of money to fund an expansion of its business.
“At Supercell, one of our greatest aspirations is to become the first truly global games company. One that has a strong foothold in both the West and the East, including Japan, Korea, and China,” Supercell chief executive Ilkka Paananen wrote in a blog post on the company’s website. “We want to build a company that people all over the globe will look back in 30 years and talk about all the great games that we developed and the impact they had on people’s lives. The same way I personally feel about Nintendo, for example.”
The company will need the $1.5 billion investment to see through its plan to take on the globe as the next Nintendo, but it will also get additional support from the new investors.
“SoftBank provides us with a massive selection of strategic resources that will help us deliver our games to hundreds of millions of new consumers all over the globe,” said Paananen.
He said that SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has a 300-year vision “to become the number one mobile Internet company.”
“I thought he was joking until the following day when he ran me through what [his 300-year vision] actually looks like, and it is indeed very real and extremely inspirational,” said Paananen.
Despite the Japanese investment, Supercell plans to continue operating out of Finland.
“Although our aspirations are global, our roots and future are very much in Finland,” said Paananen. “Our operations remain in Finland, our management team remains in Finland and in San Francisco, and we continue to pay taxes in Finland. I think more and more people in this country are realizing that there is life after Nokia.”
Clash of Clans recently debuted on Android after months of success on iOS. The title made $179 million in the first three month of 2013. That makes it one of the top-grossing games of the year. It is currently only behind Candy Crush Saga in terms of highest-grossing titles in North America.