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Supercell 2017 results: $810 million in profit, $2 billion in revenue — without a new game

Supercell announced that it earned a profit of $810 million on revenues of $2.029 billion in 2017. That’s an enviable financial accomplishment for a company that didn’t release a game globally in 2017 — and has only released four games in its seven-year life.

Helsinki-based Supercell said the numbers were lower than in 2016, when the company had $1 billion in earnings before income taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) and $2.3 billion in revenues. The numbers help shed light on the larger $48.3 billion mobile games market (based on Sensor Tower market data).

“2017 was another good year in our journey. Our first two games, Clash of Clans and Hay Day, both celebrated their fifth anniversaries, and it’s an amazing milestone in an industry as fast-moving as mobile games that millions of people still play them every day,” said Ilkka Paananen, in a statement. “Clash Royale held one of the biggest esports tournaments ever with 27.4 million players participating, and we released Brawl Stars, the first game of its kind on mobile, into beta.”

Above: Brawl Stars from Supercell.

Image Credit: Supercell

Paananen added, “Our headline numbers for the year are not as high as last year, as we did not release a new game globally. Our vision is to create games for as many people as possible that are played for years and remembered forever. That is obviously an insanely high bar to reach, and I’m proud that our teams don’t compromise on that and only release games that are the very best for our players. This is how we continue to build Supercell for the long term.”

Supercell paid a dividend of $615 million (€523 million). Its owner, Tencent, will be happy about that. The Chinese social networking and gaming giant led a consortium in 2016 to acquire the bulk of Supercell at a $10.2 billion valuation. In 2016, Supercell paid a dividend of $1 billion.

Above: Ilkka Paananen, co-founder and CEO of Supercell

Image Credit: Supercell

Supercell’s newest game Brawl Stars is in beta testing in Canada. Supercell remains small at 241 employees, but it has begun making external investments in game companies, including Space Ape Games (London), Frogmind (Helsinki), and Shipyard Games (Helsinki). In 2018, it also invested $4.2 million in Trailmix.

The company noted that each of its four games has spent a significant amount of time in the U.S. top 10 highest-grossing game chart. Hay Day has been in the top ten for 884 days, Clash of Clans for 1,960 days, Boom Beach for 616 days, and Clash Royale for 701 days.

Paananen founded the company in 2010 with about $6 million from Tekes, the Finnish government’s funding agency. Supercell paid $140 million in taxes to Finland in 2017. That’s a good payoff for Finland.

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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