Japanese carrier SoftBank and game publisher GungHo Entertainment have made a swift move in capturing one of the biggest free-to-play mobile games to date, Clash of Clans, by purchasing developer Supercell for a combined $1.5 billion.
SoftBank pitched in for 80 percent of the shares in the Finland based company, and GungHo coughed up the remaining 20 percent. Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen issued a statement for fans, letting them know that they are still in control of their own destiny
"Although we now have a major new investor in Softbank, it is extremely important to understand that we are still in full control of our future and will continue to operate independently. In fact, and this may sound surprising to some, I feel that with this deal, we're now more independent and in control of our future than we ever have been."
SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son also had some kind words for his new acquisition, emphasizing his long term aspirations for both SoftBank and Supercell.
"In our quest to become the #1 mobile Internet company, we scour the globe in search of interesting opportunities and right now some of the most exciting companies and innovations are coming out of Finland. Supercell is one of those rare and special companies. While your success is impressive, it is your amazing culture and deep passion that truly inspired me. After getting to know Ilkka and some of the team, it became clear to me that you, like us at Softbank, are on a similar long and aspirational journey to shape the future of entertainment for the next hundred years. And, I'm excited to see an independent Supercell continue to rise with great people and great games, delivering happiness to so many people around the world."
Supercell says it plans to use the resources provided by its new investors to spread its games all over the world. At its peak in early 2013, the independent company was able to generate $2.4 million a day between Clash of Clans and its other game, Hay Day. Paananen wishes his company will someday have the same emotional connection with people that Nintendo enjoys today.
This new free-to-play option is really taking off, and Supercell could be one of the poster children for future generations to follow. Congratulations for your recent deal, team. That is an awfully lot of zeroes.