Clash of Clans, number four on our top 10 highest-grossing mobile games of all time, celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this month. Generating $8.3 billion in its lifetime, Clash of Clans is Finnish mobile games developer Supercell's most successful title.
The mobile game first launched in 2012, and since then it has performed remarkably, with over 8.7 million daily active users on Android devices, according to Statista. As of June 2022, Clash of Clans currently sits in second place among the leading gaming apps in the Google Play Store in the United States, with no signs of slowing down.
Stuart McGaw joined the team at Clash of Clans in 2017 and is the current game lead. He spoke with Gamedeveloper.com about the success of Clash of Clans and what it's been like for the team at Supercell.
"There was that real focus on simplicity and accessibility," said Stuart. "That stuck with Supercell. You have this current trend of games that can be played for 10 years, but we're still trying to make games that anyone can pick up today and start learning [how to play] immediately."
"Catering for everyone"
A lot of Clash of Clan's success can be attributed to the team behind closed doors' understanding of what the players of the game want. Stuart mentioned everyone has a say in major topics, even developers in the team that may be less experienced in the game. Stuart noted, "Catering for everyone is something we're really strong for as a team." He mentioned Supercell supports having developers that play Clash at different skill levels.
"The strategy DNA that survives is the understanding that our players want a level of depth and ability to experiment, and the ability to try things," he said. "We don't patronise our players. We give them lots of options, and we try our best to make those options clear to understand."
Clash of Clans launched during a time in the mobile games market when free-to-play games were including more social and interactive features. Features like being part of clans, guilds, or raiding parties made Clash of Clan more sociable because people did not only log in to play the game, but to interact with their friends and other players.
"It's amazing, especially when there are people who move apart to different places that can stay together, playing games, and having those connections," Stuart said.
Stuart McGaw plans to still be working on Clash of Clans for the foreseeable future. He told Gamedeveloper.com, "I'm just really more excited to get onto the next thing. Figuring out how to surprise players next, what's the next big thing we're going to surprise players with?"
Amidst Clash of Clan celebrating its 10th anniversary, Supercell announced that Clash of Clans spin-off Clash Quest will be shutting down next month. What won't be shutting down is the ambitious new studio Supercell announced ending of last month in North America.