The Beginning of Mobile Gaming
In the late 1990s, a microbrowser for mobile phones was created with a version of the web titled UP.Link. It first joined with well-known phone companies in Europe and enabled users to connect to a server and transfer data to their phones as if they were sitting at a computer hooked up to the web. These capabilities prompted game designers to start thinking about what they could do with WAP, such as multiplayer gameplay, electronic-based board games or turn-based games where players could send information back and forth to one another.
Mobile Gaming Now
Japan’s SoftBank bought into Supercell in 2013 with the help of its partner GungHo Online Entertainment. GungHo Online Entertainment invested 20 percent of the $1.53 billion for a shared 51 percent stake in the company. It tripled its earnings the next year, moving from $565 million in 2013 to 1.7 billion in 2014, according to The New York Times. SoftBank had recently upped its stakes in the startup to 73.2 percent after purchasing an additional 22.7 percent of shares from external investors with existing VCs such as Index, IVP, Atomico and Accel exiting the company, reports Tech Crunch.
This rapid growth and success of mobile games shows what the market currently wants. Supercell's CEO and co-founder Ilkka Paananen explains that the combination of smartphones, tablets and the free-to-play business model has created a new market for them to succeed in. He also states that the company's partnerships have helped them achieve their goals more quickly.