The Cell Structure: How Supercell Turned the Traditional Org-Chart Upside Down
Ilkka Paananen (Supercell)
Supercell is built on a unique culture. At the core of this culture is the idea of small and independent game development teams that are called "cells". These cells operate completely independently, one could describe them as their own independent companies inside the larger company. So far, despite their small size, these cells have launched 4 games that have each been in the Top 10 charts for years during their lifetimes. In this session, Supercell's CEO Ilkka Paananen will dig into the lessons he's learned as a founder, sharing his experience from building Supercell, a company that has been structured in a fundamentally different way. After years of leading companies that were structured like most games companies, with management owning the vision and having creative control, he came to realize that games are a form of art, created by talented, creative people and that games businesses need to be structured in a way that allows them to flourish. Supercell turned the traditional top-down org chart upside down, giving the games teams the independence and full autonomy to design games, lead projects and have the final say on whether Supercell launches or kills a game.