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Supercell's iOS games earning $500,000 a day

Supercell's iOS games earning $500,000 a day

Tue 09 Oct 2012 7:55am GMT / 3:55am EDT / 12:55am PDT
MobileDevelopment

Finnish developer believes iPad mini may be final nail in the coffin for portable consoles

Finnish developer Supercell's two free-to-play iOS games are grossing over $500,000 a day according to executives at the company.

Once Apple takes a 30 per cent cut, sales of strategy game Clash of Clans and farm sim Hay Day amount to around $350,000 a day, reports the NYT.

Clash of Clans in particular has proven successful for Supercell, with stats from September showing the game to be the top grossing title on iPad while also performing strongly on iPhone.

After originally backing the PC browser scene, Supercell is now focused on tablets, which US general manager Greg Harper describing the format as "the ultimate game platform."

"The technology and hardware performance really is close to on-par with that of consoles," he added.

He also believes that dedicated portable games consoles are losing business to tablets, with the prospect of another iPad model from Apple sinking the traditional market.

"That market seems in trouble to me. The iPad mini could be one of the final nails in the coffin."

25 Comments

Ben Furneaux
Lead Designer

114 48 0.4
That's a good observation. A much lower price point and greater portability might tip the scales in favour of iPad vs 3DS / Vita. Right now there's too much of a price difference to even consider them in the same space.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Nick Parker
Consultant

279 143 0.5
The writing has been on the wall for some time since Apple re-invented the mobile phone games eco-system. Nintendo will have to target gamers who don't have mobile devices (primarily kids) and the PS Vita will be enjoyed by core gamers seeking the best portable experience for their games or some interoperability with the PS3/PS4. Dedicated mobile games devices is a shrinking market despite some pretty good numbers for the 3DS post price drop.

Supercell - seems like it could have been a good investment for the London based funds after Gunshine went on the back burner.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 9th October 2012 10:26am

Posted:A year ago

#2

Robin Clarke
Producer

297 681 2.3
It's not a question of technology, it's a question of whether there's a viable business model to support the kind of games the handhelds offer.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Tom Keresztes
Programmer

632 239 0.4
Every topic now turns into an argument about handhelds and future consoles?

Posted:A year ago

#4

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Coexistence, people.

Some of these people make me think of this:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y122/viperempire/killall.png

Posted:A year ago

#5

Ben Furneaux
Lead Designer

114 48 0.4
I'm not talking about one device 'killing' another (I hate that term).

There's plenty of recent precedent for dedicated devices being very successful. Kindle eReaders are a great example — they provide the best reading experience. Same will be true of dedicated game consoles — they will likely continue provide the best game experience.

What I do agree with though is that a much lower priced iPad (be it mini, maxi, whatever) will come into picture for many when looking at purchasing a handheld console. Right now I expect few potential 3DS consumers are thinking about the iPad as an alternative — the price disparity is too great. But something smaller and in the same price bracket is likely to be factored into buying decisions, so naturally it may end up capturing some of those consumers.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Popular Comment
I don't think it will have the impact many people are expecting it to.

Gamers that play portable consoles do so not for the price but for the content. Gamers know you get a certain type of content with each type of device. If they are looking for Mario, Monster Hunter, Wipout and Uncharted, it doesn't matter how much an iPad Mini cost, it's not going to have the kind of content they want.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Brian Smith
Artist

194 78 0.4
For younger gamers too we'll still want more robust things that'll take a knock or two and can't have everything wiped accidentally. Hand held consoles will continue to have an audience although it might be taking a beating at the moment. Possibly even the general growth of this market will help with their loss of particular types of customer.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
@Jim

Do people (kids) really think about content first as you describe? My kids don't, I just asked them. If the option to have an iPad mini or one of the portable devices (Vita/3ds) became available to them, they all jumped immediately to wanting the iPad. They know they will get more use from, and playtime with the iPad, versus the one or two games they may want on the other devices. This is from a 9, 11 and 13 year old. I think it will have much more impact than you are giving it credit for. My girlfriend is off to class (a 8th grade teacher) and she is going to get a consensus from her students and let me know...
In any case, the "hardcore" gamer is not a large enough audience alone to counter the potential loss that the iPad mini (or any other decent tablet) could cause. Guess we'll all see soon enough...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Spencer Franklin on 9th October 2012 5:42pm

Posted:A year ago

#9

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Spencer, my kids are 12 and 15. Both prefer a dedicated protable game because they know they types of games they can get with them.

Question, did you show your kids what i iPad and a 3DS/Vita can do before you asked them? If they are more familiar with iDevices, because perhaps "daddy" uses them, then they will gravitate towards them. If they are more familiar with dedicated handheld consoles, they'll be more likely continue to want them instead.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Ove Larsen

28 10 0.4
Does Suoercell make games for Vita/3DS?

Posted:A year ago

#11

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
@Ove,

No. They have developed 2 games for iOS. Warcraft and Farmville style titles.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

223 83 0.4
Biggest problem with tablets and phones is still the cumbersom onscreen controls, it's just not as good as real physical controls like the ps-vita or the 3ds have..
But what I'm still appalled by is the enormous pricecut Apple takes, especially because as a developer you are forced to use their services if you want to publish anything on an iOS device, even though it's not different than Android..

Posted:A year ago

#13
If you think 30% is enormous, you should look at the rev share in a traditional publishing deal to get onto Sony or Nintendo platforms!

Posted:A year ago

#14

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Todd, apparently Nintendo has significantly dropped the revenue share for indie developers for the Wii U. At least this is what many indie developers putting their games on the upcoming console are saying.

I will grant they were pretty high for all consoles in the past but a large part of that was the publishers fee too.

Posted:A year ago

#15

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
@Jim

My kids actually have 3ds themselves, and one vita (my son). They were more than willing to trade up.
And I talked to the girlfriend at lunch, and after her first 3 classes (97 kids) 88 were willing to make the jump. From my eldest daughters point of view, the 3ds is great for what it does...it just doesn't do much more than play games though. She was willing to trade because it wasn't a huge loss in gaming to play app store games, compared to the gain of all the other things she could do in addition to games on an iPad. My son was more than happy to, because the games he enjoys will still be there for him on the console (ps3/360), so he felt like he was gaining by having an iPad mini. My kids love games, but they love to be able to switch it up when we are on the go...post on FB, watch Hulu/HBO-Go, or play games...

You mention familiarity too, and I do agree with that. and When I see parents regularly using tablets to pacify the young kids (coloring books apps, movies, games) you're right...and kids are becoming very familiar with the devices indeed.
I definitely don't think the tablet will replace the home console..but the hand held... with the increase in capability for gaming and all the other things it does that the dedicated handheld doesn't... yeah... I see problems for handhelds in the very near future.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Spencer, you can get Netflix and Hulu on the 3DS too.

You can post on Facebook as well...just have to use the admittedly not so useful built in browser.

Speaking of Facebook, my boys have no interest in it yet. That might be what separates our kids. My youngest just finished up Kid Icarus: Uprising and I don't think he'd want to give up that kind of content for Facebook.

I'm also very surprised, almost dubious, of a 88 out of 97 result. Maybe that's a regional thing. You'd not get that kind of result here (Florida).

Posted:A year ago

#17

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
Jim,

Hmm, This is in LA, but I can't imagine very much difference between the 13-14 year olds there and here. It could be again familiarity you mentioned earlier, as Kid's here do use iPads in class for testing and language courses. But if the difference truly is that, doesn't that speak pretty clearly as to what the future may be for handhelds if people, once they have have had the chance to try it for a bit, decide that the tablet is a better value? Yeah, they can do FB and movies on the handhelds like you mention, but the superior interface and ease of use on the tablet trumps the handheld device quite easily. I have no vested interest either way, but it just seems to me it's just a matter of time before the dedicated gaming device is either replaced by the tablet... or becomes one itself (Wii-Pad anyone?)

Posted:A year ago

#18

Rey Samonte
Sr. Technical Game Designer

10 7 0.7
@Spencer...I would have to disagree that kids don't care about content. Of course they do! Without games installed on your iPad, do you really think kids will gravitate towards it? One of the first things young kids look for on an iDevice is what kind of games does it have. I would consider that caring about content don't you agree?

The big advantage iDevices have is the ability to download free games(content). It's hard to compete with that when kids nowadays are generally satisfied with bite sized gaming. But it's still considered content.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rey Samonte on 10th October 2012 2:43am

Posted:A year ago

#19

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 411 0.6
It seems to me that people are pretty much "arguing" over anecdotes. I can't remember if it's a real quote or has just become one over time but: "the plural of anecdote is not fact".

We'll just have to see how these things pan out when they occur.

Posted:A year ago

#20

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
@Rey,

I think you misunderstood. Of course they care about content, first thing kids do when I hand them my iPad is ask what games I have. No, what I meant was that they don't immediately dismiss the pad because it doesn't have Mario or Monster hunter or some other game they may have played on their own 3ds. Even the young kids know what to look for, "do you have Angry Birds, or Cut the rope, even many of the Big Fish titles available I get asked about (which i do have cause of my own kids love of those games). So not having the current big handheld title doesn't diminish the attraction.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
Spencer, that's where I'm finding things going the opposite way for my kids and their friends.

No Pokemon, no Mario, no Zelda, Kid Icarus, etc.... They've played Angry Birds which to them was nothing more than a mini-game from Super Mario 64 DS.

Yes, James, these are anecdotes. Which are valid in a debate when it allows people to understand why you may have a specific viewpoint.

Posted:A year ago

#22

Jack Lee

60 6 0.1
Here's some data: in a national survey conducted in America, kids age 12-17 who said they played games were 3 1/2 times more likely to say they intended to own a tablet in the next 3 months over a handheld gaming console.

Of course, this is a very specific slice of data that doesn't have a ton of context, so you can't draw unimpeachable conclusions from it, but it does generally support the thought that maybe kids are generally more into the idea of tablets than dedicated portables. Not that I'm particularly happy about that, because I like "traditional" games much more than what's generally available on touch devices, but that's neither here nor there.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,232 2,161 1.0
I'm wondering how much the "cool" factor is playing into these results. Do they want it because of the actual features and capabilities of the system or because it's the "cool" thing to have?

Posted:A year ago

#24

David Radd
Senior Editor

358 78 0.2
Smartphones and tablets have more utility than portable gaming systems, and considering how quickly their power is increasing, their graphical output is only going to get better. Also, for many people these are the substitutes for a PC or laptop - they're just going to be using them way more in general.

Incidentally, citing anecdotes as proof is a logical fallacy. When you deal with any one person and they're examples, there's always the skew of some sort of bias. And how many people is it - 10, 20? Let's be generous and say 100; even if its that, the sampling size pales in comparison to these scientific surveys that interview thousands of people of varied backgrounds.

Posted:A year ago

#25

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