Of all of the app-based games that have emerged during the smartphone era, few have been as successful as Supercell’s Clash of Clans. While the game is a simple retread of other third person MMO-RPGs, like the early World of Warcraft games, it has struck a nerve with the game playing public in a way that all game studios hope their apps/games will when they’re attempting to strike it rich. While many people play the game, few know the story behind it or just how much money it does make. So with that, we’re going to delve into the 15 things about Clash of Clans that you may not know.
15. It Stems from Helsinki, Finland.
As anyone who has logged into their Clash of Clans accounts knows, Clash of Clans was developed by a game company named Supercell. What people may not know is that Supercell is based out of Helsinki, Finland. Beginning in June of 2010, originallly Supercell wasn’t solely a mobile game based company. They had a PC Browser game that had a mobile version, but they quickly abandoned it after the mobile version wasn’t up to snuff which lead to them hiring more mobile developers; a flurry of creativity ended up eventually leading to Clash of Clans!
14. Clash of Clans wasn’t Supercell’s first game
While Clash of Clans was the game that made Supercell world famous and the envy of all indie game developers around the world, their first game wasn’t the one that made them world-famous. That game was titled Gunshine.net; a zombie title that wasn’t even a mobile based game, at least not at first. While the game was a moderate success, it was quickly abandoned for three reasons. It was too difficult to play, it’s mobile version wasn’t enough like the browser version, and perhaps most importantly, it just didn’t interest players for long enough.
13. Clash of Clans wasn’t Supercell’s first successful game
While Gunshine.net was their first game, their first successful game was actually a farm-based game, named HayDay. HayDay was developed directly after Gunshine.net during a development frenzy in which the company developed five games simultaneously. One of those games became a hit, and helped Supercell learn the model needed for them to develop Clash of Clans. A production chain, touch screen properties, social aspects and the ability to speed up in game development by way of purchases were all first developed in HayDay, all things that would be perfected in Clash of Clans.
12. It’s made a boatload of money
While people know that Clash of Clans has been a successful game, not many know just how successful. With their three (at the time) main-games (HayDay, Boom Beach and Clash of Clan’s), Supercell made an astounding $1.7 billion dollars in 2014 and $2.3 billion in 2015. At one point that year, the company was raking in over $5 million dollars a day from Clash of Clans. That’s a lot of coin for a “free” game and just goes to show you how time-based mobile games are the wave of the future as they take advantage of people’s impatience and ability to drop a dollar or two without second thought over and over (and in this case over and over again).
11. Supercell has been valued at as high as $5.5 billion dollars
Thanks to the success of the Clash of Clans-verse and it’s subsequent releases, the “little” indie developer has been valued at as high as $5.5 billion dollars. That’s an incredible chunk of change for a company that creates “free” games. This just goes to show you that the future in business development and start-ups is very closely attached to the smartphones that we all seem to live our lives through. If a company can catch lightening (spell) in a bottle, like Supercell seemingly has multiple times, then they can make an astounding fortune that can spin off into multiple forms of media.
10. It can cost a fortune in terms of time and money to master
While games like Clash of Clans seem to be pretty laid back, especially when compared to much more sophisticated and involved games like the kinds you find played on PC’s or gaming systems, it can still end up requiring that you play for hours a day. On top of that, while it is technically a free game, with the help of in-game purchases, it can end up costing someone a fortune. One of the top players of the game, George Yao, ended up playing the game on five different devices at once at one point, going as far as to play the game while in the shower. Panda, another top-ten player in the world, was at one point investing over $7,000 dollars a month to maintain his superiority.
9. It had the most viewed Super Bowl ad in 2015
2015 was yet another great year for Supercell and Clash of Clans. On top of the money they were raking in hand over fist, their Super Bowl spot starring Liam Neeson was the most viewed ad of one of the most viewed television events ever. On top of the high number of views, the spot was also voted the second best (in terms of quality) by viewers on Youtube as well (after Nissan’s ‘With Dad’ ad). The commercial, which was a play on Neeson’s highly successful ‘Taken’ films, managed to stand-out among commercials that are all especially meant to stand out.
8. If you wanna be good, you gotta pay
As this piece has alluded to thus far, if you want to compete at the highest levels in Clash of Clans (or any free-to-play game, for that matter) you need to be able to pay. In fact, according to Wired, over fifty percent of the revenue that Clash of Clans receives comes from just ten percent of its users. Perhaps not coincidentally that ten percent also happens to be the top ten percent of users (in terms of in-game rank), showing that if you want to compete as a top base/army in Clash of Clans, you need a small army’s worth of funding.
7. Clash of Clans has reached almost 30 million active users at it’s peak
At its peak, Clash of Clans reached nearly almost 30 million daily users. In addition to the millions in was making in 2015, Clash was also insanely popular. As a truly global phenomenon, Clash of Clans reached across multiple nations and that global success is reflected in that number. Even a little over a decade ago, a number in the tens of millions seemed to be impossible for a video game. But thanks to the advent of smartphones, people are essentially walking around with video game systems in their pockets. So while that number seems like a lot, it will eventually seem like peanuts as the number of people with smartphones and the population in general increases in the future.
6. It’s run by a very small group of people
Despite all of the staggering numbers behind Clash of Clans, you may be surprised to learn that at its peak, only fifteen people were working on the title. While players of the game may notice that over the years that the game has been handled with a tremendous amount of care and consistent in game feel and canon (pun!), you’d think that a game that has helped its parent company earn almost two billion dollars a year would have a huge team behind it. But, the reality is, once the in-game mechanics were set up, it really didn’t need that much to keep it going. Sure, they’ve kept long term players interested with periodic updates, but outside of that, it’s just a really simple game that just takes a really, really long time to master.
5. The PEKKA was named on Facebook
While it is stated in the game that no one knows what PEKKA stands for, there’s actually an acronym for the name of the most powerful of all the troops in Clash land. Apparently, PEKKA is a name that typically is associated with boys in Finland and after Supercell held a contest on Facebook to name it’s most dangerous assassin, PEKKA ended up winning out. Despite the fact that it is typically a boy’s name, the PEKKA is, in fact, a girl and its name has been said to stand for Perfectly Enraged Killer Knight of Assassins. That gets the point across!
4. The town hall level you attack determines your loot
Make sure to pay attention to Town Hall levels when preparing your attack. If you take on a Town Hall equal to your level you get a 100 percent modifier on looting your opponent, while attacking higher Town Hall levels will give you even more rewards. For example, if your opponent is at your Town Hall level or within one level (above or below), you get a 100% modifier on available loot (that you can steal). However, if your opponent is two levels above, you get a 125% modifier, three levels is 150% and so on. Beyond that, that same opponent would get a 25 to 50% modifier (respectively) for any attempt to get revenge on your base, protecting you from losing that loot. That’s why many people have historically liked to stay at Town Hall 7 whilst farming, as it gives their base access to a decent amount of troops and defenses, but also keeps it low enough to obtain those modifiers.
3. Troop training used to take a LOT longer
If you’re new to Clash of Clans you may get anxious when it comes to the time it takes to do, essentially everything. However, you should know that you have it a lot easier than people who played the game before the 3.25 Patch which came out in May of 2016. That patch reduced the training time for troops drastically. For example, the longest time it takes a troop to cook is ten minutes (the Lava Hound/Golem). Think that’s bad? Those troops used to take over 45 minutes to train; just one. While that encouraged the use of gems and probably helped Supercell’s bottom line, it just took too long and turned a lot of new players off from the game. In addition, training used to look and work completely different as it was split into four separate sections (for each Barracks) that could be individually boosted and each had separate troop availability. God bless that patch!
2. Clash of Clans expanded into cartoons
Hollywood loves built in audiences. In this day and age of hundreds of millions of dollars for movie budgets, it’s a relatively low(er) risk for a studio if it knows that their movies have a fan-base before the movie is released. Considering the fact that Clash of Clans is obviously one of the top app based games there is, it was only a matter of time before Clash joined the moving picture realm. That came in the form of Clash-a-Rama! which is a series of web-based cartoons that delve into the lore of the game itself. While mostly positioned as a children’s series, the show is definitely loyal to the game itself and opens up the canon of the show to build on the idea that your base is its own special little world.
1. Playing for eight hours straight will force a break
Even villagers need sleep! Now while it may not make a whole lot of sense, even to super active players of the game to play for more than a few minutes at a time (As it’s a time-based game with little to do in between attacks), staying logged in can be a great tactic if you’re trying to protect your loot, as people can’t attack you while you’re in your account. However, even that has limits, as the people at Supercell put a… limit on that. An eight-hour limit, to be exact. Anyone that has played Clash of Clans knows that even if mobile is plugged in, the game will drain your battery. So the true forced break from the game comes when your battery dies.