Supercell Raises $12 Million to Develop Games for the Hardcore Social Gamer

What do you get when you cross a social game like FarmVille with elements from a hardcore online game like World of Warcraft?

You get Supercell.

“The company was founded on the idea that there’s a gap between the social games on Facebook, like FarmVille, and the hardcore MMOs (Massively-multi-player online games) like World of Warcraft. We are trying to build a bridge between the two with a very deep and rich game experience and combine that with the power of social networks,” said Ilkka Paananen, Supercell’s CEO.

Today, Supercell is announcing that it has raised $12 million in capital and that its first game, Gunshine, is coming out of beta.

Finland-based Supercell was founded in June 2010 by a number of former Digital Chocolate employees. Paananen, who is CEO, also worked there for about a decade, most recently as President. He joined Digital Chocolate following the acquisition of a game company he founded in 2000.

Accel led the financing along with Klaas Kersting, the founder of Germany’s Gameforge and CEO of flaregames, with London Venture Partners also participating. Other previous investors of the company include Initial Capital, Cerval Investments and Lifeline Ventures.

Kevin Comolli, a Partner at Accel Partner’s London office, said the Supercell team has a huge amount of experience in the gaming sector.

“The more time we spent with them, the more I was impressed with their knowledge and insight into the next generation of online gaming,” he said, adding that the team is creative while still being grounded by business acumen and defensible technology.

The funding will be used for growth, including expanding its 20-person team. It also wants to release more games, and is exploring other platforms such as tablets and mobile phones.

Supercell’s games are free to play and supported by users paying for virtual goods from inside the games. They are accessed from the browser, meaning they don’t require any downloads. Users can sign in with their Facebook credentials in order to invite and play games with friends.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik