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Mobile Gaming Gold: iOS Gaming Developer Supercell Now Making $1 Million a Day

Sites include . Published on January 4th, 2013. Written by Anthony West.

The promise of making huge sums of money with mobile gaming is alluring for developers but painfully elusive. This doesn’t stop many from trying though and although most fail at making any money from their games, some developers with good backing and sound strategies do actually strike gold. Rovio and to a lesser extent Zynga comes to mind.

But there are other players quietly raking in a small fortune and once such developer is Finnish-based company, Supercell. Branded as ‘tablet-first’ developer, Supercell has seen tremendous success in the last few months and now there are reports that its titles may be grossing more than $1 million a day. Put that in perspective, it means that out the gate and with just gaming applications, the company is grossing a whopping $30 million a month.

Myth vs. Reality for Games

As a gaming developer Supercell is relatively unknown, and considering that the 70-person team that run things inside the company only manage two games on iOS, one can see why.

Those games are Hay Day and Clash of Clans, and back in October the New York Times reported that these two games alone were generating more than $500,000 a day. Many flat out refused to believe those revenue numbers but that looks set to change now.

Supercell is no longer a small operation out of Finland and the fact that it has surpassed gaming giant EA Inc. is proof enough that it should be taken seriously. According to iOS analytics and tracking company, App Annie, Supercell is now outselling EA’s myriad of apps that are distributed through Apple’s iTunes store. This fact is extraordinary in itself because unlike EA which has over 900 titles inside the iTunes store, Supercell has only two.

Proof is in the pudding

Supercell has quietly worked itself up the social gaming charts and the company was represented twice on the list of top 15 social games chart for 2012. This list is largely a vote by Facebook users and so it should in theory translate to some credence for the $1 million a day figure.

The only damper here is that Supercell isn’t some small startup that has struggled and finally made it—it is heavily funded. Last check Supercell had amassed more than $15 million in funding and there’s talk that the company may be looking to add more to its funding pool. Nonetheless, as a startup it is doing well in a gaming space that has proven a tricky beast to tame. With all the money that EA has on its books, it hasn’t managed to dominate social gaming like it has on consoles. Zynga’s own failings is also proof that even with social gaming being a part of your DNA, failure can still be just one bad app away.

What the success of Supercell shows is that with the right approach and timing, a developer can enter the space and make lots of money. At the rate of earning that Supercell has at the moment, the $15 million investment would have paid for itself in under a month. Not bad.

Do you think the $1 million a day earnings figure for Supercell are exaggerated? Share your thoughts below.

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