Finnish developer Supercell has just soft-launched a brand new mobile strategy game called Rush Wars in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Gameplay centres on sending troops to enemy bases to collect up to three stars, as well as building up defences of your base to thwart attacks from other users.
As you can see in the trailer below, gameplay is designed to offer quick matches, and has some similarities to Boom Beach and Clash of Clans.
Should Rush Wars make it to full release, it’ll be the Supercell’s sixth global launch following in the footsteps of Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, Clash Royale and most recently Brawl Stars. The first four of those have each made $1 billion and the latter looks to be well on its way.
In this article, we take a look at how Supercell’s portfolio has been performing over the last 90 days using App Annie data and whether it’s in dire need of a refresh or if the studio is in the luxurious position of just adding more to its riches.
Mobile farming sim Hay Day is where it all began for Supercell, a title given a bronze star rating by PocketGamer.com back in July 2012.
Seven years later, the title has already made most of its fortunes, but it’s still no slouch.
Maintaining a fairly consistent grossing position across most countries, Hay Day continues to be a top 100 grossing Google Play game in the US, UK, France and Germany.
It also maintains top 100 grossing positions on the App Store in those same countries.
Hay Day hasn’t made much of a mark in Asian countries like Japan, South Korea and China, but it continues to perform impressively in the West all these years later.
Clash of Clans
The build-and-battle title that Supercell is most famous for, Clash of Clans continues to be one of mobile gaming’s biggest heavyweights.
In June 2019, Sensor Tower estimates the title had its best month of revenue in two years, picking up $76 million across the App Store and Google Play worldwide.
The US was said to be the biggest contributor, bringing in $37 million (47 per cent) of sales. Germany was second with $6m (eight per cent), while China came in at first with $4m (five per cent). It should be noted that Sensor Tower does not track third-party Android stores.
Clash of Clans was estimated to have brought in $334m globally for the first half of 2019 in total. Since January 2014, sales are estimated to have surpassed $6.2 billion. That estimate is missing sales from the game’s 2012 launch up to 2014, however.
Recent sales have been boosted by the introduction of Season Challenges and a Gold Pass to Clash of Clans, similar to the Battle Pass monetisation system made famous by Fortnite.
App Annie data shows Clash of Clans is a consistent top 10 grossing game on the App Store in the UK, US, Germany and France. Meanwhile in South Korea it typically holds a top 50 grossing position, while in China it fluctuates in the top 100.
Over on Google Play meanwhile, the title fluctuates in and around the top 10 in the Western countries we've tracked, occasionally hitting top spot, and is a top 60 grosser in South Korea.
It’s clear that seven years on, Clash of Clans continues to be Supercell’s flagship game globally.
Boom Beach doesn’t get quite as much credit as its siblings despite the title powering past $1 billion in revenue.
Still, its grossing positions over the last 90 days are the least impressive of Supercell’s portfolio.
Out of the countries we’ve analysed, France has been where the title has performed best on Google Play, hovering in and around the top 100. Throughout August however the game has begun falling away in the country to most recently around 170th.
In the UK meanwhile the title meanders inside the top 200 positions, and inside the top 300 in Germany and the US. Boom Beach recently fell outside the top 500 grossing spots in South Korea.
Over on the App Store, the game has performed slightly better, ranking 136th in France, 163rd in the UK, 207th in the US and 242nd in China.
While Boom Beach will be bringing in revenue for the small team working on the title, it no longer appears to be on the scale that’s expected from a Supercell game. And it’s a scale that doesn’t seem to have been drastically improved by this year’s Warships update.
According to Sensor Tower, smash-hit mobile MOBA Clash Royale surpassed an estimated $2.5 billion in sales earlier this year.
And the game continues to be a top hit globally. App Annie data shows that on August 25th 2019, Clash Royale was placed in first on France’s App Store top grossing rankings, third in Germany, seventh in the US and 10th in the UK.
Over in Asia meanwhile, where the title’s performance fluctuates more heavily, Clash of Clans was positioned in 25th in South Korea, 41st in Japan and 51st in China.
Over on Google Play, once again a Supercell title has generally performed less well than its App Store counterpart. On August 25th it ranked as the fourth highest-grossing game in France, while in Germany it took 10th, 31st in the UK and 32nd in the US.
In South Korea it placed 56th, while in Japan it was positioned in 136th - down nearly 100 places from its App Store position.
Brawl Stars is estimated by Sensor Tower to have surpassed $275 million in player spending since its December 2018 release, as of June 2019.
Its data shows that South Korea has become the game’s largest market, making $61m (22 per cent) of overall revenue. The US meanwhile followed in second with $52m (19 per cent) and Japan came in at third with $25m (nine per cent).
A look at the chart positioning on App Annie shows Brawl Stars is a solid performer in Western countries, but not as big as some of its Supercell brethren.
On August 25th, the title ranked seventh on France’s App Store top grossing chart, and 11th in Germany. In the UK and US meanwhile it charted in at 70th and 74th respectively.
Its performance in South Korea though has been particularly impressive, regularly hitting the top 10 grossing positions in the lucrative market.
In Japan however the title’s grossing ranking has varied wildly, placing in 135th on August 25th.
On Google Play the game is performing far worse in terms of grossing rankings. As of August 25th it still hit ninth in South Korea, but held slightly lower positions of 14th in Germany and 18th in France.
In the UK Brawl Stars took 139th, while in the US it placed 147th and in Japan 259th.
Given Brawl Stars’ particularly notable performance in South Korea, it will be interesting to see how the game performs in China. Supercell has partnered with Yoozoo Games for a release in the country, with pre-registrations opening up earlier this year.
Room for more?
For the most part, Supercell’s portfolio continues to perform exceptionally well around the world, with Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and new kid on the block Brawl Stars leading the charge.
It will be fascinating to see come the end of the year whether the introduction of Season Challenges into Clash of Clans and the launch of Brawl Stars will result in an uptick in sales for Supercell.
Revenue at the company has been falling for a couple of years, hitting $2.3 billion in 2016, before declining to roughly $2bn in 2017 and $1.6bn in 2018.
But Supercell has always been patient, even in the face of such declines. It won’t release games it doesn’t think have the potential to be market leaders. Even Brawl Stars, its fifth release, spent 544 days in soft launch before getting the greenlight for a global release.
Supercell isn’t desperate for new games, but with annual sales falling by $700 million in two years, the famous Finnish studio could do with a few new hits like Brawl Stars sooner rather than later.
Whether Rush Wars will be the next blockbuster or go the way of titles like Smash Land and Spooky Pop remains to be seen. Given its similarities to some features of Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, there's also a chance it might cannibalise some existing revenue should it reach a full global launch.
But when Supercell soft-launches a new title, you know it's something special.
Supercell was recently ranked fourth on our list of the Top 50 Mobile Game Makers for 2019.
Pocket Gamer Connects will be heading to Supercell's hometown Helsinki on October 1st and 2nd. Visit the website for details on the conference.