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Supercell CEO on why $8.6 billion Tencent deal was a no-brainer

Supercell CEO on why $8.6 billion Tencent deal was a no-brainer
June 22, 2016 | By Chris Kerr




In the wake of Tencent's agreed $8.6 billion purchase of Supercell, the Chinese internet outfit told studio bosses that the developer will retain its "operational independence."

Now, in a company blog post Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen has elaborated what that, and the deal as a whole, will mean for the Clash of Clans creator going forward. 

Labeling the purchase the "world's worst kept secret," Paananen explained the Finnish dev agreed to the Tencent sale primarily because the Chinese firm will let it operate exactly as it did under previous owner, SoftBank. 

"We have agreed with Tencent that Supercell will continue to be operationally independent, exactly as it was under SoftBank's ownership. They understand that our unique culture of small and independent teams is what makes Supercell," revealed Paananen. 

"Our headquarters will stay in Helsinki and we will pay our taxes in Finland. All of this is very important for us."

More than that, the deal will also give Supercell a foothold in the lucrative -- and notoriously hard to crack -- Chinese market, as Tencent's platforms alone reach roughly 1 billion users in the region. 

Supercell is also weighing up the possibility of integrating its games into the Chinese giant's social platforms, such as popular messaging app, WeChat. 

"Tencent's platforms reach around a billion users. And, they have around 300 million unique users playing games on their platforms," added the Supercell CEO. 

"What this means for us is that together with Tencent, we can bring our games to so many more players. Also, their social platforms offer many new possibilities for our games, particularly for social play."

The success of Tencent's partnership with League of Legends creator, Riot, also helped allay fears, while the chance to maintain Supercell's privately held status was, according to Paananen, the icing on the cake. 

"[Being a private company] is a better match with our small size and unique culture than being a public company where our concern would be the pressure from financial markets to think short term," continued Paananen. 

"However, the partnership with Tencent provides us with some of the benefits of being public: as part of this transaction, our employees will be able to sell their shares in Supercell over time."



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