Brawl Stars, the highly anticipated game from SuperCell has finally gone into Pre-Registration, as of November 14, 2018. After a 18 month closed beta testing period (limited to Canada, New Zealand, Philippines and maybe some other minor country somewhere in the world) the game is finally going to see a World Wide Launch.
There was a lot of speculation building around Brawl Stars not seeing a Global release as Supercell continued to extend their Closed Beta testing period. Which leads to me this post of top 3 reasons Why Supercell decided to release this game.
This is in no particular order.
Incoming holiday Season
This one is a no brainer but for anyone in the gaming industry its almost insanity to not release any of your games during the holiday season. For any live operated game, the runway to the end of the year is probably considered the best time of the year. This is because of the all the different holidays that happen during the last 3 months, giving publisher a plethora of excuses to run corresponding holiday events during this period. Let’s take a look at the rundown of the holiday season in the last 3 months of the year.
Halloween: October 31st
Thanksgiving November 22nd
Black Friday November 23rd
Christmas December 25
Boxing Day December 26
New Years January 1
As highly anticipated of a game Brawl Stars is, Supercell’s strategy to be the game for the holiday season makes a lot of sense to maximize their Revenue and also their User base. I don’t see any other ‘mobile’ game that can get as much reach and discussion as Brawl Star as we approach the holiday season.
The Hit Maker Moniker
Supercell has been on a massive roll in creating hits or industry changing products as they paved the way for User Generated / Asynchronous PVP system in Clash of Clans or a mobile friendly RTS game in Clash Royale. There next attempt looks to be a synchronous pvp system tailor made for E-sports for mobile.
But because the game has been around for public consumption for over 18 months (Closed Beta) many developers were able to deconstruct their design methodology and create their own rendition of what a 3 v 3 multiplayer game experience should be like. What this means is Supercell has exposed themselves for clones even before they fully launched their game. Clash Royale was a different story as their game was only in Closed beta for a couple months not giving developers enough time to clone and hit the market for the new wave and mobile gaming.
With the extended Open Beta period, you can see that a lot of games are using the Brawl Stars template and already profiting from Supercells ground work in design.
These are all 3 v 3 Multiplayer Online Battle Arena type games that have the Brawl Stars type feel. The mobile market is very frugal where developer or publishers are not necessarily acknowledged for their creativity or the first to come up with but this space is about who became the first well known publisher to make a certain game system work.
And as a Brawl Stars remains stuck in closed beta, other publishers are taking the limelight and running with it.
Which leads me to the point in which Supercell has probably decided to roll out the Pre - Registration for Brawl Star is the sheer fact that time is running out for this genre, window to claim the ‘First’ to do it in the open market, as an army of clones are headed its way in the new year. I personally don’t think it’s too late yet as making a viable synchronous PVP E - sport is a lot harder than you think. Supercell does have an edge versus the other games as they were able to A/B test a lot of their theories throughout the lengthy beta period.
WIth the continued success of every launched title Supercell has experienced the pressure to continue to succeed grows ever more. Supercell maybe one of very few company who managed to ride this mobile wave to unheralded heights and from an outside perspective, they seem to do it with ease.
Brawl Star seems like the elephant in the room that the studio seems scared to release as an immediate success narrative with this title doesn’t seem to apparent. More so, the opposite where this might be Supercell’s first big miss. (speculative)
Being in this space for over 15+ years it’s almost certain that there will be games that just don’t get adopted by the consumers and personally I don’t think it’s anything to hang your head as you usually learn a lot more from your failure than any success you achieve in life, but for Supercell I don’t see their ego’s being able to deal with this.
Supercell is almost in Blizzard territory where anything they release is of high quality and will be successful no matter what, but something seems very off about this product (“Brawl Stars”) release where it seems more pushed out the door than a, ‘We’re ready to release this game” type of release
Which leads me to this point of lowered expectations. The golden age of mobile game development ended a couple of years ago where anything and everything you release would probably garner you a couple of 100’s of thousands of users. Those days are over. With so much content and the fragmentation that is happening in the market right now. Free users are extremely hard to come by and making the numbers work in your favor a lot harder than one can think.
Supercell is known for making Billion dollar apps but with the new mobile gaming landscape maybe Supercell has decided to lower their expectations and come to terms with what type of product they have on there hands.
Or maybe Supercell had there ego re-assessed and came to terms with the fact that Brawls Stars isn’t going to be a billion dollar app and they are “ok” with a $100 million run rate, not only to break even but to expand their portfolio and continue to grow their business and learn from their mistakes.
We’ll see in due time.