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Supercell: Don't make monetization your number one priority
Supercell: Don't make monetization your number one priority
July 24, 2013 | By Mike Rose

July 24, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



"The huge irony here is that if the monetization is not your number one priority, that actually leads to better monetization."
- Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen discusses creating free-to-play games based on engagement, rather than monetization.

There's been plenty of back-and-forth between free-to-play studios in the games industry in recent months, regarding how important it is to focus on properly monetizing your game. Paananen recently talked to Gamasutra about how his Clash of Clans studio goes about the monetization strategies for its games.

Talking to the Guardian this week, Paananen explained, "When you prioritize engagement and retention - making a great game that people play often and want to play for a long time - they are happy to pay. We want to design games that people can theoretically play for years."

Monetization should come as a result of focusing on creating engaging content first, he argues, not the other way around.

"There was a time, especially in the social games industry, where people thought you could create great games based on a spreadsheet: that creativity and design wouldn't really matter, because it was all about some maths," he added.

"Games are still a form of art, not a form of science. You can't design fun on a spreadsheet. And if you want to make an industry for the long-term, if you can't create fun games, there's no future."


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Comments


Phil Maxey
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I'm working on a similar game, and the main question I ask myself is, how much fun is this game? monetization will flow (or not) from the answer.

Ramin Shokrizade
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I am in total agreement with Ilkka. Ironically, the overly aggressive monetization in SuperCell's Clash of Clans game actually reduces their engagement levels. While they are doing well, and perhaps philosophically they do want to prioritize engagement, they could be doing even better.

Phil Maxey
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Yes but "even better" might be at the expense of the "fun" the game has, and then it's not worth it.

Paul Lee
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Ramin, I always enjoy reading your articles and replies. Far more thoughtful than I coul ever come up with! I just cannot imagine how 'even better' games would look like that optimizes balance between 'fun' and 'monetization' than supercell. Cause, personally, I still think Supercell's games are the best F2P games on mobile in this regard.

Josh Bakken
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"There was a time, especially in the social games industry, where people thought you could create great games based on a spreadsheet: that creativity and design wouldn't really matter, because it was all about some maths," he added.

"Games are still a form of art, not a form of science. You can't design fun on a spreadsheet. And if you want to make an industry for the long-term, if you can't create fun games, there's no future."

#preachitbrother

Ramin Shokrizade
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I was once turned down for an economy designer position at Gameloft because "Your Excel skills are inadequate".

Jess Groennebech
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Worst HR rep ever @ Ramin.

Eric Finlay
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Wait wait wait. So making a good game is more important than good monetization techniques? This is madness. /sarcasm


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