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Supercell's Squad Busters team tell all on what's become their biggest launch yet

As the game generates over $10 million and surpasses 30 million downloads, its team members explain how they made it a hit
Supercell's Squad Busters team tell all on what's become their biggest launch yet
  • Supercell's marketing lead Rob Lowe says, "not every mobile company could have done a launch like this..."

After garnering more than 40 million pre-registrations, Supercell's Squad Busters finally launched last month, generating $1.1 million on launch day and has since surpassed 30 million downloads. 

In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Supercell's game lead Eino Joas says that Squad Busters is officially their biggest launch yet, being only the company's sixth global launch in 14 years.

Known for cancelling games post-beta, Squad Busters succeeded while six others were scrapped between now and 2018's Brawl Stars. According to Joas, the cancelled games “all had something that didn't click and didn't work" and that “Squad Busters is one where all the stars aligned." 

Exploring other IPs

Supercell's marketing lead Rob Lowe discusses Squad Buster's gameplay which features heroes and characters from other Supercell games such as The Barbarian from Clash of Clans whom Lowe says is uniquely iconic in mobile gaming. 

“You could argue that there are some iconic characters from Candy Crush and other games, but when you see that character, you know straight away who it is, or at least you have an inkling that it's from a game on mobile," Lowe told GI.

"When you add in characters like Shelly and Colt from Brawl Stars, who have their own following with a whole new generation of kids… We're very lucky to have that springboard when a lot of other mobile studios don't. So, of course, we're going to use it. So, yeah, Squad Busters is our Smash Bros," in reference to Nintendo's all-in melee combat classic.

When asked if fans should expect more brand collaborations, Lowe responds: “There's loads more stuff in the Supercell cupboard for us to go and root around with, but there are also a ton of other third-party IPs that we're starting to look at as well."

Big success post launch and after

While the game has proved a huge hit - generating $10 million in its first week - GameBiz Consulting’s head of ad monetisation Božo Janković has explored the significant ad revenue potential Squad Busters may be missing

Meanwhile, HoYoverse's upcoming action RPG Zenless Zone Zero has surpassed 40 million pre-registrations, matching Squad Buster's pre-registration feat with weeks left until launch in July. It's no wonder therefore that - with rival global games all set to eclipse their creation - the Squad Busters team remain on the promo trail.

“I'm not sure every mobile company could have done a launch like this, but I think we felt reasonably confident going into it, because we knew there was that anticipation," Lowe explains. 

“We're in a fortunate position at Supercell to have these five successful hit titles already out, which gives us a degree of risk-taking ability. And I think that's something that a lot of mobile games companies have a challenge with, which is that they're unable to take too much risk, particularly on the marketing side of things," Lowe concludes.