Phoenix One Games hopes to build their realm with their first fantasy mobile strategy game, Guardian Kingdoms.
The mobile strategy genre has proven to be incredibly lucrative, with Supercell (Clash of Clans) reporting $2.3 billion of revenue last year and Machine Zone (Game of War) bringing in an estimated $590,000 revenue daily. Since these games launched in 2012 and 2013 respectively, competing studios have attempted to cash in on the popularity of mobile strategy. According to market research firm Verto Analytics, action/strategy games are the fourth most popular genre on mobile, with a comparatively high number of user sessions per month.
However, Phoenix One claims that Guardian Kingdoms offers something different from the other mobile strategy games on the market. Alongside mechanics from Clash of Clans and other similar apps, Guardian Kingdoms provides more control over individual units and heroes so players can execute real-time strategy. It also emphasizes timing in a way that the studio hopes will attract fans of the overall RTS genre.
“At the core, [Guardian Kingdoms] is still a base builder type game similar to [Clash of Clans] but with gameplay/battles more geared towards RTS players,” said Kevin Zhang, vice president of Phoenix One, describing Guardian Kingdoms as more of a “blend of StarCraft/Age of Empires and Clash of Clans.”
Mobile games is a tough market to stand out in. Even five years after Supercell released Clash of Clans, it still ranks high in downloads. And, according to Pocket Gamer, over 2,500 games are submitted per month to the Apple App Store, making it that much harder to draw attention to new titles. This is something Zhang is familiar with; before Phoenix One, he was previously at Kabam, a mobile game studio that released such titles as Marvel Contest of Champions. Their secret weapon, they’re hoping, is to combine the mobile-native deployment mechanics from other strategy games with synchronous gameplay.
“On a high level, our primary differentiator is the real-time tech we’ve built,” said Zhang. “This enables our game to be more multiplayer friendly — players can battle together using thousands of troops in real-time in the same fight, each battle is uniquely different and more dynamic/fun.”
Founded in 2016, Phoenix One Games is a mobile games studio with experienced industry vets from Blizzard, Kabam, EA, and Zynga.