Supercell has just four games in the market, but it is the master of the $46 billion mobile games industry because those titles have generated a lifetime average of $1.15 billion in revenue on iOS alone, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower. It’s an astounding record, and that’s why a big spotlight is shining on Brawl Stars, a new mobile game that the Finnish company has soft launched in some regions.
It’s been a while since Supercell launched a game. Clash Royale formally launched in March 2016. That game has generated $979 million on iOS since it debuted. (That doesn’t include Android revenue, which is likely considerable.)
But there’s no guarantee that Brawl Stars, a multiplayer top-down shooter, will survive. Supercell has taken great pride in being a “serial killer” of its own games, and it has said it has canceled 14 games in its history. Some of them actually made it to soft launch in some territories, just as Brawl Stars has.
Supercell announced it was soft launching Brawl Stars in limited markets on June 14. Sensor Tower’s data showed that, as of July 7, the results were looking good. I’ve played a couple of rounds, and it’s fun. It’s not immediately easy to point your character and shoot and move at the same time, but I started getting used to it. It’s like a lot of “bullet hell” games currently on the PC market, except it’s a touchscreen game on mobile.
“We can say that it’s significantly outperforming the soft launches of the publisher’s publicly canceled projects — and is within spitting distance of the soft launch success of Clash Royale in one very important metric: average revenue per download,” said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower, in a blog post.
Compared to three previous Supercell soft launches in Canada, Brawl Stars had an average of $1.68 in gross player spend per download in its first 20 days of soft launch in that country (where it has only been available on iOS).
That compared well to the $1.95 average for Clash Royale in its initial 20 days on the Canadian App Store. And it was much better than the ratio for previous launches, including the canceled Spooky Pop and Smash Land titles. Supercell will likely decide the fate of Brawl Stars based on whether it will keep generating money for years.
But not everybody is a fan, as noted in this Pocket Gamer article.
Of the thousands of reviews posted, most are generally positive, with a 92 percent positive rate in the first 20 days compared to 82 percent for Clash Royale.
Nelson said last week that Canadian iOS players have spent more than $700,000 (in U.S. value) in Brawl Stars. That’s about 41 percent less than Canadian iOS players spent in Clash Royale during the first 28 days of that game’s soft launch there.
In terms of average player spend per download so far, however, Brawl Stars is performing comparably at $1.94 per download (in the first 28 days) versus the $2.19 that Clash Royale averaged during the same amount of time after its Canadian soft launch. Supercell has said that the team itself will decide whether the game goes forward.