Space Ape CEO on Supercell deal | Pocket

Space Ape CEO on Supercell deal | Pocket

Back in May Clash of Clans developer Supercell splashed out $55.8 millionto acquire a 62% stake in London studio Space Ape Games.

The UK developer has worked on titles such as Transformers: Earth Wars, Rival Kingdoms and Samurai Siege in the past, all to good success. And those titles continue to bring in the money for the company.

But during the last year, Space Ape has been changing the way it operates. It decided it was no longer going to be a strategy-focused studio, and adopted a model of smaller teams working on new titles that it hoped could be big hits in their genres.

It’s a structure akin to Supercell, which operates the world’s biggest mobile games with small teams of experts in their fields.

A new beginning

It was a bold move, thoughSpace Ape could afford to start taking more risks given the foundations its previously successful titles have provided.

The shift in how the company operates, and indeed the Supercell deal itself, may have come as a surprise to many. But it’s in fact been a long time coming.

“We had a series of discussions with Supercell in early 2016 with an all-day series of meetings between our game leads and theirs, and it just didn’t quite work out,” Space Ape CEO John Earner tells about early talks with the famous Finnish developer.

At that moment, realising it just wasn’t meant to be really forced us to go and become a better company.

John Earner

“We learned a lot about how they make games. We were very impressed with their culture and would have been keen to partner with them way back then, but we ourselves weren’t really working on what we were supposed to…

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