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reddit SUPERCELL income to incompetence ratio and small team philosophy.

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Once again we have a highly underwhelming, buggy, poorly thought out update with cringe UI changes from the CR dev team and Drew’s latest post gives the but we are a small team (who all really love the game) excuse again.

SUPERCELL is a $10 billion company (valued 2016 in Tencent acquisition) with around 323 employees and a 2019 revenue of $1.56 billion. It is different from other companies in that the dev teams don’t have a boss and this is exactly what Drew points to in his recent reply:


“from our live ops person to our player support lead to our artists we all have a say on what does (or does not) go into the update.“

“We don't have bosses as such and we are all on equal footing on the team. we have a 'default to trust' policy where we have to assume everyone on the team is also looking out for the best interests of the game and the players.”

“[Updates] requires a team consensus, but we do not have a 'boss' telling us what to do.”

This reinforces what was written by Supercell co-founder and CEO Paananen

“A major component of our mission – i.e. to be the best place for the best teams to develop games – involves keeping the company as small as possible,” Paananen wrote. “This is because we believe smaller size minimizes the amount of bureaucracy and processes while maximizing room for innovation. And, we all simply like to work in a smaller company! Anyway, last year some of our game developers actually got concerned that the company might be getting too big too fast as we grew to just over 300 in size. We had a big discussion about this and, as a result, decided to slow down our growth significantly until we feel confident that we can keep our culture intact despite the growth.”


I get that this philosophy is how the SUPERCELL company has been built and that it has contributed in great measure to its initial success, however, at this stage, a tiny stale dev team is clearly just crippling innovation and basic competence (no matter how much they love their game). SUPERCELL choose to have these small teams, but then use this as the excuse for issues. I honestly think members of the CR dev team would not actually survive in the pressure of a normal corporate structure of working for a boss, deadlines, accountability and competence. They would have been all fired ages ago, but due to the freemium business model and them initially creating a decent game that addicts people into spending billions they are essentially unaccountable.

All this combined with the “equal footing” philosophy has led this dev team appearing to live in a self-congratulatory echo chamber without a proper challenge network. Some of the issues are so glaringly obvious within seconds of release of an update, there must be no one with a strong enough voice to challenge the team group think. A great leader/boss and competent visionary is an asset to any team and the CR team is in desperate desperate need of one. Having a boss is a good thing. It adds a structure of accountability to the rest of the team. It’s their job on the line to get things done and right, and so on down the corporate structure. A dev team being unaccountable with no bosses and paying players addicted with sunk cost upgrading is not proving to be enough of a motivation.

We can ask ourselves if governments made freemium upgrade addiction business model illegal tomorrow how long would SUPERCELL games survive on the strength of their game-play and updates alone? I could be pretty sure if that happened and they couldn’t ride on the monthly ‘pass tax’ for upgrading, actual decent game-play updates would suddenly come a lot quicker and be of much higher quality.

SUPERCELL you make billions of dollars, and have revenues close to other companies that afford tens of thousands of employees. You can do a lot better than this for a Clash Royale update that took this long to release.

submitted by /u/MakeTheMostOfLife007
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