Supercell will continue to operate independently after Tencent acquisition

CEO Ilkka Paananen talks up the benefits of long-rumoured deal
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The acquisition by Tencent will not affect how Supercell operates.

That's according to CEO Ilkka Paananen, who released a statement via the Clash of Clans studio's blog. Referring to the long-rumoured deal as the industry's "worst kept secret", he stressed that there were several benefits to being owned by the Chinese giant.

"First, we have agreed with Tencent that Supercell will continue to be operationally independent, exactly as it was under SoftBank's ownership," he wrote. "They understand that our unique culture of small and independent teams (or "cells" as we call them) is what makes Supercell. We want Supercell to continue to be the world's best place for creative people to create games. Also, our headquarters will stay in Helsinki and we will pay our taxes in Finland. All of this is very important for us."

He went on to explain that the acquisition gives Supercell better access to Tencent's 300m unique users in China and its social platforms, and that the deal will enable his team to keep Supercell privately held.

"That 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," he explained.

Paananen also remained confident about Tencent's dedication to and interest in the video games industry, citing its "hugely successful partnership" with League of Legends creator Riot Games. He added anecdotally that Tencent president Martin Lau is such a passionate Clash Royale fan that when he dropped out of the Global Top 100 players during a meeting "it was almost impossible to get his focus back".

News of the acquisition finally emerged yesterday, with the deal valued at $8.6bn.

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