Erlend Christoffersen champions a concept which might be hard to believe comes from Supercell: “Our company motto is to celebrate failure.” Erlend shares that along the way to successful games, Supercell worked on four other games which were not successfully finished. But the company culture of Supercell not only accepts failure, but actually celebrates it with champagne! Why? As Erlend tells us, “It allows us to learn from the experiences, take risks, and ultimately create better and more innovative games.”
Erlend began his career in performance-based marketing in 2006, working for Jamba!, the mobile content and ringtone provider. Fascinated with the freemium games business model, feeling that it had a greater potential upside than the typical mobile entertainment subscription model and was fairer to the end customer, he made the decision to transition to the games industry when a mutual friend introduced him to the CEO of Supercell, Ilkka. “After having met Ilkka and the rest of the Supercellians, I was completely blown away by their team, culture and product, and was ready to make the move to Helsink,” Erlend remembers. When Supercell evolved toward the tablet and opened an office in San Francisco, he relocated once again.
Both Proud and Humble
At Supercell, Erlend has learned to deal with both success and failure. There was a lot of hard work involved in building and launching their games, Hay Day and Clash of Clans. But to pinpoint the moment when he was most proud and most humble, “It must have been seeing Clash of Clans and Hay Day as the number one and two top grossing iPad Apps in the US, just a couple months after launch.”
Evolving With The Games Industry
The transition from web to mobile has been challenging for Erlend from a marketing perspective. Because mobile marketing is still relatively new, the industry lacks the standards and sophistication that exist in the web space. However, the situation improves daily, and he finds it exciting to be a part of this new and evolving industry.
Erlend describes the games industry as a very diverse ecosystem, much larger than any one company. But within that ecosystem, Supercell works to make the best games possible. Over the next few years he believes the tablet market will continue to grow, eventually becoming the number one device for consuming games. He predicts, ”There will be great opportunities for any company that can provide the best possible game experience for tablets.” Erlend would love to hear your failures at @erlendch.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.