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Supercell: Don't make monetization your number one priority

"If the monetization is not your number one priority, that actually leads to better monetization." - Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen discusses creating free-to-play games based on engagement, rather than monetization.
"The huge irony here is that if the monetization is not your number one priority, that actually leads to better monetization."
- Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen discusses creating free-to-play games based on engagement, rather than monetization. There's been plenty of back-and-forth between free-to-play studios in the games industry in recent months, regarding how important it is to focus on properly monetizing your game. Paananen recently talked to Gamasutra about how his Clash of Clans studio goes about the monetization strategies for its games. Talking to the Guardian this week, Paananen explained, "When you prioritize engagement and retention - making a great game that people play often and want to play for a long time - they are happy to pay. We want to design games that people can theoretically play for years." Monetization should come as a result of focusing on creating engaging content first, he argues, not the other way around. "There was a time, especially in the social games industry, where people thought you could create great games based on a spreadsheet: that creativity and design wouldn't really matter, because it was all about some maths," he added. "Games are still a form of art, not a form of science. You can't design fun on a spreadsheet. And if you want to make an industry for the long-term, if you can't create fun games, there's no future."

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