Mobile Mavens: The industry wades in on Squad Busters from its “transformative i | Pocket

This article was originally published on May 6th and has been republished to coincide with the global launch for Squad Busters.

Supercell recently announced that its latest soft launch game, Squad Busters, will be launched globally on May 29th. This is a significant moment for a studio that’s not shy about killing games in the soft launch phase. Squad Busters will become only the studio’s sixth game, coming on the heels of Clash Royale and Brawl Stars, both of which have surpassed $1 billion in lifetime gross revenue.

So, with the next potential billion-dollar Supercell game heading toward its global release, we reached out to the gaming community to get their take on the game. Here’s part one of what they said:

If successful, and it seems likely to be, given that it’s reached the top of the charts in all of its soft launch territories, Squad Busters will have a transformative impact not just on its direct revenue but also on the Supercell portfolio and the broader mobile landscape.

The larger number of players per match – 10 players – requires a higher CCU than Supercell’s previous titles. Where will the additional player liquidity come from? One of three sources:

It’s a red ocean out there, and a new Supercell title is not good news for comparable games in similar genres

Carson Taylor

Other Supercell titles: given that Squad Busters shares IP/characters from the rest of the Supercell portfolio, cross-promotion from Clash and its peers is likely, but I think the cross-promotion will go both ways and avoid significant cannibalisation.

Other multiplayer games on the market: it’s a red ocean out there, and a new Supercell title is not good news for comparable games in similar genres.

New players to the genre: Supercell is unique in that it’s incredibly approachable yet sticky design can attract and retain new users to a competitive genre! So, while stealing players from competitive games is a big factor, many players may come from other mobile genres.

I’m curious to what extent the launch of Squad Busters will impact platform and ad network businesses. Expect to see this take up real estate in the app stores – both top charts and editorial – and ad network supply depending on the ratio of inorganic to organic Supercell pursues.

This soft launch version is a marketing vehicle to build up hype

Matej Lancaric

It was quite surprising to everybody when Supercell announced that Squad Busters is going GLOBAL! First of all, there is zero chance this was decided on day three when it was announced. It was already decided before this game went to “soft launch.” This soft launch version is a marketing vehicle to build up hype and maybe fix some last technical issues. There is a really nice synergy effect between all the games to increase pre-registrations and give out nice rewards!

It is definitely not a proper soft launch to measure KPIs and improve builds.

If I have to bet on a Squad Busters global launch budget, I think they start with 250k/day and scale to 500k/1mil and then to 2mil/day based on actual numbers. We don’t know the payback or the retention yet, but based on the retention profile from Supercell games, this can get to the current Brawl Stars scale – $70 mil/month IAP revenue.

Bringing in beloved characters from their other franchises? Genius move

Stuart De Ville

As someone who’s spent their fair share of time battling it out in Clash Royale and tinkering with game design, you better believe I’ve got Squad Busters on my radar – humble brag I have reached Ultimate Champion League!

Assembling your own Squad, taking down bosses, and diving into intense showdowns with my favourite characters sounds like a blast.

I’m all in for the strategic depth that comes with merging and evolving characters. I mean, we’re talking about a big roster of characters here, each packing their own unique abilities. It’s like a buffet of tactical possibilities, and I’m ready to dig in.

But hold your horses, Clash Royale fans – I know you’re wondering how Squad Busters will measure up. Sure, they both thrive on real-time multiplayer action, but Squad Busters spices things up with game modifiers and evolving characters.

It’s a fresh take on the genre, and let’s be real, change can be a bit divisive. That being said, Supercell knows a thing or two about crafting addictive games. I’ve been playing Clash for ten years!

They’ve got a knack for it, and I’ve got a hunch that Squad Busters will be no exception. Bringing in beloved characters from their other franchises? Genius move. And let’s not forget about the social aspect – forming multiplayer parties and throwing down with friends? Sign me up – I already have.

So yeah, while Squad Busters might veer off the beaten path from Clash Royale, I’ve got a good feeling about its chances. As a game designer, I admire Supercell’s willingness to shake things up, and I’m itching to see how players embrace this new adventure. Who knows?

Squad Busters could be the next big thing in mobile gaming – and I’ll be there for every nail-biting moment. 

Wills Spangler
Technical Account Manager for User Acquisition

It feels like game designed by the committee to satisfy corporate box-ticking

Wills Spangler

I may be alone here, but I’m not convinced Squad Busters offers anything especially innovative in terms of gameplay or design.

It’s just a fresh coat of paint on a bunch of old monetisation strategies (timed chests, levelling, etc.) jammed into a single entity.

It feels like game designed by the committee to satisfy corporate box-ticking, and though it’ll probably be enough to join the billion-dollar club anyway, I’d personally love to see Supercell launch some new, experimental IP.