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Supercell and Rovio fly high in global mobile gaming ranking

Martin Lau, President of Tencent, and Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen shared the stage at the 2017 Slush startup event in Helsinki.

Roni Rekomaa

PocketGamer has revealed its 2023 ranking of movers and shakers in the mobile gaming industry, with Finland’s Supercell and Rovio named among the best in the business.

The annual ranking of the top 50 mobile game makers worldwide listed Helsinki-based Supercell, known for such global successes as Clash of Clans and Hay Day, in the number four spot. Meanwhile, Angry Birds maker Rovio was placed 22nd.

PocketGamer highlights Supercell as the only company it knows that has managed to pull off a billion-dollar mobile game, not once but five times, and achieved it with a small team structure. The site adds that the 11-year-old company has faced recent challenges with falling revenues and the need for change but believes its new strategy is set to succeed:

“Add Supercell’s game-making talents and [live operations] skills to its hands-off, confident and smart approach to letting its investment talent do what it does best (and make good on that investment), and you’ve got a culture that’s steeped in best practice and experience.”

Rovio’s Angry Birds franchise covers several games, books, films and TV series.

Rovio Entertainment

Espoo-based Rovio Entertainment improved its standing by three places, moving to 22nd from 25th in 2022. Founded in 2003, the company rose to fame in 2009 when it launched its 52nd game, Angry Birds. The game became a global phenomenon and an entertainment franchise with films, TV series, a café and even activity parks. Since then, Rovio has trialled other titles and genres, but it is Angry Birds that keeps the company flying. 

Rovio is facing an interesting new phase with the gaming giant Sega acquiring the company for 706 million euros in 2023. PocketGamer notes this could well supercharge the company.

PocketGamer’s 2023 ranking was topped by a Chinese mobile gaming company, miHoYo. The list, published now for the 13th consecutive year, doesn’t only focus on financial performance but takes into account elements such as game quality, press coverage, impact on the industry and potential for the future. 

Attracting new gamers

Spurred by the global success of local studios, the Finnish games industry is one of the leading local sectors that consistently attracts employees from abroad to fill a range of positions. 

“The mobile game industry in Finland and the ecosystem are unique and special,” said Minwoo Lee from South Korea. Having worked for global gaming companies in Asia and Europe for over 20 years, Minwoo moved here to build a better life for his family. After some years working in the local scene, he eventually started his own games studio, Northern Stars, the in-house studio of Pixel United.

“We don’t have that many developers, but Finnish companies always find a way to amaze or sometimes shock the world with very innovative mobile games,” he added.

“We can deliver successful mobile game products with a small number of developers, which is extraordinary.”

By: Eeva Haaramo