Supercell’s financial results for 2014 were released today by Talouselämä (in Finnish), and as you suspected the Helsinki-based developer of Clash of Clans, Hay Day, and Boom Beach is printing money.
In 2014 Supercell’s net sales amounted to €1.545 Billion, leaving them with an EBITDA (or profitability before a few factors) of €515 million. That’s an amazing growth compared to 2013, where Supercell’s net sales amounted to roughly their current profitability, clocking in last year at €519 million.
Despite having a relatively small and nimble team, Supercell money is eaten away by Apple and Google Play’s 30% cut, and an advertising budget to recruit and retain their player base – Talouselämä reports that Supercell’s advertising budget for mobile ad impressions, pre-roll Youtube advertising, and other ads like their Superbowl spot amounted to €400 million last year.
But Supercell has proved to be very successful at retaining players. In the article CEO Ilkka Paananen says that when they first got into mobile games, the industry rule of thumb was 40-20-10, or that out of a hundred downloads, 40 would play again the next day, 20 would stay the next week, and only 10 would remain after the first month. But looking at Clash of Clans, if 100 players entered the game exactly two years ago, 10 of them are still playing today. Update: The previous sentence was edited for clarity.
The Talouselämä article offers a few more insights from Paananen, and is manageable through Google Translate.