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Game analysis: How Brawl Stars achieved its incredible comeback

Claire Rozain of RZAIN Consulting explains how Supercell’s Brawl Stars turnaround is the perfect case study for a data-driven growth strategy
Game analysis: How Brawl Stars achieved its incredible comeback
  • “With 59% of the marketing budget allocated to Google and 41% to Facebook a tailored approach to each platform is essential”
  • “Brawl Stars’ success in the U.S. market in 2024 highlights the importance of a comprehensive data-driven approach to growth marketing”

This article was originally published on RZAIN Consulting

Supercell launched Brawl Stars globally in December 2018. The game performed well for some years until 2022 when things began to decline. This downward trend continued into 2023 as the game's revenue nearly halved again. 

However, the game has achieved quite the comeback, earning more in 2024 than it did in the entire year of 2023

In this guest article, Youthwave Games co-founder Claire Rozain leverages 2024 data insights from the United States market to share effective strategies for user acquisition, engagement, and retention using Brawl Stars as a compelling case study for market growth strategy.


In the competitive landscape of mobile gaming, achieving and sustaining growth requires strategic planning and data-driven decisions. Brawl Stars, a popular game developed by Supercell, serves as an exemplary case study for growth marketing.

Key metrics from 2024

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The data provides insights into the performance of Brawl Stars throughout 2024, focusing on the U.S. market. Key metrics include revenue, downloads, retention rates, and app store rankings. Here’s a snapshot of the crucial data points for 2024:

Revenue:

  • January: $6,301,572

  • February: $7,688,190

  • March: $10,251,234

Downloads:

  • January: 742,762

  • February: 1,028,966

  • March: 1,994,570

Retention Rates:

  • 1-Day Retention: 39.67% (average)

  • 7-Day Retention: 30.27% (average)

  • 14-Day Retention: 23.38% (average)

  • 30-Day Retention: 21.30% (average)

Featuring and rankings:

  • Frequently featured in app stores, with up to 2,280,360 featuring instances.

  • Strong presence in top free (peak rank: 3) and top grossing (peak rank: 16) categories.

Top creative analysis

It is crucial to analyse the top-performing creatives used in their campaigns to understand the effectiveness of Brawl Stars' marketing strategies. This analysis focuses on the key elements that made these creatives successful.

Visual appeal

High-quality graphics: The use of high-resolution graphics and vibrant colours helps capture attention quickly. The visuals are consistent with the game’s aesthetic, making them instantly recognisable.

Dynamic content: Incorporating dynamic elements like animations and gameplay footage engages viewers. This approach not only showcases the game’s features but also highlights the excitement and fast-paced nature of Brawl Stars.

Messaging

Incorporating testimonials, ratings, or quotes from satisfied players adds credibility and encourages new users to try the game.

Clear call-to-action (CTA): Effective creatives include a strong, clear CTA that directs users to download the game, participate in competitions, or claim rewards. For example, phrases like “Join the Fight!” or “Download Now and Get Free Skins!” create urgency and drive action.

Benefit-oriented messaging: The best-performing ads focus on the player's benefits, such as “Unlock Exclusive Skins” or “Compete and Win Big Prizes.” This strategy emphasises the value proposition and appeals directly to user interests.

User engagement

Interactive elements: Some creatives feature interactive elements, such as mini-games or swipeable carousels, to engage users directly within the ad. This not only holds attention longer but also increases the likelihood of conversion.

Social proof: Incorporating testimonials, ratings, or quotes from satisfied players adds credibility and encourages new users to try the game. Creatives showing player excitement and community engagement build a sense of belonging and trust.

User acquisition insights and strategies

1. Maximising ad spend on Google and Facebook

With 59% of the marketing budget allocated to Google and 41% to Facebook, a tailored approach to each platform is essential.

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Click to enlarge

Google ads strategy:

  • Search ads: Target high-intent keywords like “Brawl Stars competition” and “free Brawl Stars skins.”

  • YouTube ads: Utilise engaging video ads highlighting the competition and exclusive skins, driving traffic to the landing page.

  • Display network: Employ visually appealing banners across relevant gaming sites to capture a broader audience.

Facebook ads strategy:

  • Video ads: Leverage Facebook’s robust video platform to showcase dynamic content about the competition.

  • Retargeting campaigns: Target users who have shown interest but have not yet participated, increasing conversion rates.

2. Leveraging seasonal promotions

Holiday seasons and special events are prime opportunities to boost engagement and revenue used by Brawl Star.

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Click to enlarge

Holiday campaigns:

  • Exclusive skins and rewards: Offer limited-time skins and bonuses during holidays to drive downloads and in-game purchases.

  • Social media campaigns: Run social media contests and giveaways to increase visibility and engagement during peak times.

Special competitions:

  • Regular tournaments: Host regular in-game tournaments to foster a competitive community and encourage repeat engagement.

  • Collaborations: Partner with influencers and other popular games for crossover events, attracting a wider audience.

Brawl Stars’ success in the U.S. market in 2024 highlights the importance of a comprehensive, data-driven approach to growth marketing.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Brawl Stars’ success in the U.S. market in 2024 highlights the importance of a comprehensive, data-driven approach to growth marketing. Mobile games can achieve sustainable growth by optimising ad spend, enhancing retention, leveraging seasonal promotions, and continuously improving based on user feedback.

These strategies not only boost user acquisition and revenue but also build a loyal and engaged community, ensuring long-term success in the competitive mobile gaming industry.

For mobile game developers looking to replicate this success, it’s crucial to:

  • Invest in data analytics: Continuously monitor and analyse performance metrics.

  • Adapt and innovate: Stay agile and responsive to market trends and user feedback.

  • Engage and retain: Focus on building a strong, engaged community around your game.

                                                                                    Edited by Paige Cook


This article is part of our Road to Helsinki series, where we put the spotlight on the Finnish and Nordic games industries ahead of Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki on October 1st and 2nd.