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Online Game Pioneers at Work by Morgan Ramsay

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CHAPTER 8

Ilkka Paananen

Cofounder, Supercell

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Ilkka Paananen cofounded Sumea, an early developer and publisher of mobile games, in 2000 with Jarkko Salminen, Mikko Kodisoja, Sami Arola, and Mika Tammenkoski.

At 23, still in university, with no experience, and without a strong professional network, Paananen was somehow able to land distribution deals with every mid-tier and major carrier in Europe. In a short time, under his leadership, Sumea had become the leading European mobile game publisher.

Sumea was acquired by Digital Chocolate, the mobile game company established by EA founder Trip Hawkins in 2004, and for the next five years, Paananen ...

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