Mobile gaming is big business. For 2014, according to Superdata the mobile gaming market was expected to generate $21 billion in worldwide revenue and is forecast to top $30 billion in 2015. Mobile games account for one third of monthly spend amongst American digital gamers. It’s also an interesting and dynamic sector where a small number of successful businesses tend to generate the majority of cash thanks in part to how finicky mobile gamers are. Games have tended to be fashionable for a relative period of time before interest drops off and businesses such as Rovio, famous for the Angry Birds franchise, have to work hard to keep an existing title relevant and interesting for customers. We’ve seen companies such as King, Supercell, Zynga and Activision working hard on their mobile strategies in order to remain competitive. Of these businesses, Supercell has revealed its 2014 results today and has tripled its revenue compared with 2013. For 2014, then, Supercell generated $1.7 billion compared with $570 million for 2013. In terms of earnings, these doubled from $267 to $565. Supercell have benefited from their three hit games, Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Doom Beach.
It’s the first of these games that merits attention, as Clash of Clans has been at the top of the highest list for both the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store every day for over two years now. Clash of Clans has been promoted since 2012 of course, and has been successful enough for Supercell to run a minute long commercial during the Super Bowl featuring Liam Neeson and believed to have cost at least $9 million simply for the airtime. You can watch the commercial at the end of the article! Supercell have managed to develop the game sufficiently to encourage new players to join as well as encouraging existing players to continue paying money.
Clash of Clans, Hay Day and Doom Beach are Supercell’s only three active projects. Clash of Clans ended 2014 as the top grossing game with Hay Day and Doom Beach in the top twenty. Supercell has shut down other projects, including those being tested, if the studio did not believe that the projects were good enough to match the existing games. The business would rather upgrade and maintain existing games rather than devote resources to games where revenue is questionable. This focus means that Supercell’s three games are great examples of the genre – the business is planning ten to fifteen content patches a year for each game, which is considers to be a waste if the title isn’t bringing in millions of dollars a week. However, Supercell have a relatively small team (around 150 people) and a priority is not to spread themselves too thinly. Nevertheless, eventually these games will run their course and so Supercell ened to ensure they have other projects waiting to take over.