Clash Royale maker Supercell has invested $4.2 million in mobile game studio Trailmix, a startup created by two former King game developers. Supercell has about 250 people, a very small number given its value above $10 billion. To stay small, the company has begun making investments in other mobile game studios such as Frogmind.
The London-based Trailmix’s leaders are Carolin Krenzer and Tristan Clark, who helped King set up its studio in London in 2012, when Candy Crush Saga was just three months old and was still running on just a browser. They left in the middle of last year, after Activision acquired King for $5.9 billion and had more than 2,000 people.
“We’ve been very impressed with the vision that Carolin and Tristan have for Trailmix,” said Supercell CEO Ilkka Panaanen in a statement. “They have a true passion to push boundaries in the casual games genre and bring something completely new to the market. At Supercell, we believe that building great games is all about the best teams and great culture. Tristan and Carolin have already done this once and now they will do it again, just better. They are one of the great examples of why London is such a great city to build games in. We are very happy to be part of this new journey of theirs.”
Krenzer and Clark worked on the hit puzzle game Farm Heroes Saga while at King.
“Fast-forward five years. Hundreds of millions of people are playing games on their mobile phones every day,” the founders said in a blog post. “Games are an integral part of commutes, sofa time and bathroom breaks for many who would never call themselves gamers. Despite this, there are still so many people who don’t play — they might really get into a TV show, or a book series, but would never assume they can find the same richness and depth in mobile games.”
They started Trailmix in December 2017 to address that challenge.
“Our mission is to make experiences with that richness and depth, while remaining accessible, long-lasting and built to fit into your daily life. We’re combining great storytelling with the best in free-to-play mobile,” they wrote.
They also wanted to create an environment to foster talent. Right now, the studio has just two people, and it has no announced games.
“This investment means we can focus on the important things — bringing great people together, making amazing games and having a lot of fun in the process,” they wrote.