Mobile Strategy Games Are Incredibly Profitable

Most people who visit this website probably know how incredibly successful client based games like Dota 2, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft are. They each bring in over $100M in revenue to their parent companies, which may seem like a lot, but some mobile games bring in a lot more. Exactly how profitable are mobile strategy games? Extremely. Read on.

The first and probably most successful mobile strategy game I want to highlight is Clash of Clans from Supercell (Supercell reminds me of Cell from Dragon Ball Z for some reason). I'm sure you've seen commercials on TV or advertisements for this wildly successful strategy game, but if you haven't heard of it, it's a Evony like strategy game available for both iOS and Android systems. It's fun, simple, and has good visuals, but it doesn't exactly bring anything new to the table. If you've played any web based strategy game, Clash of Clans is basically the same thing, except on mobile. Despite the lack of innovation, the game is the world's most profitable mobile game. Clash of Clans brought in $1.8 billion in revenue in 2014. To put that into perspective, Clash of Clans earned more money last year than Hearthstone, Dota 2, MapleStory, World of Tanks, and World of Warcraft COMBINED. To put it in another perspective, Clash of Clans earned more than League of Legends AND World of Warcraft combined, two of the most popular online games in the world.

Clash of Clans - The Most Profitable Mobile Game

Another wildly successful mobile strategy game is Game of War. You've probably seen the commercials on TV which star a scantily clad Kate Upton. The core gameplay in Age of War is practically identical to Clash of Clans and basically every other strategy game. Despite the lack of innovation, the game made over $600 million in revenue in 2014. When “real” games like Hearthstone and Dota 2 only make ~$120M, it's mind blowing that games like Game of War and Clash of Clans can rake in the dough the way they do.

Poor Hearthstone. Clash of Clans makes over 10x the revenue.

I'm not trying to hate on mobile games. Puzzle & Dragons made over a billion last year and even though it's not revolutionary, it combined the match 3 puzzle genre that King is known for (Candy Crush) with some RPG elements. I just find it incredible that mobile strategy games as a genre can be so profitable. Aside from Game of War and Clash of Clans, there are literally THOUSANDS of mobile strategy games out there that play almost exactly the same as as Game of War. What's even more surprising is that nearly all of these games manage to do pretty well successfully. DomiNations and Empire: Four Kingdoms are two more examples of successful strategy games.

Game of War. Over $600M in Revenue in 2014!

I personally don't dislike these games, but I can't get myself to play them. The core gameplay/concepts are great, but EVERY single one of them is pay to win. Getting attacked? Need troops instantly to defend yourself? Whip out that credit card and bam you're good to go. These games are all shamelessly pay to win. They don't even try hiding it, as players can typically just buy resources outright or train units / construct buildings instantly if they're willing to pay up. Am I missing something here? I think I'd take these games more seriously if they weren't pay to win, but that's just me. It blows my mind that Clash of Clans makes over a billion a year. It makes more than World of Warcraft AND League of Legends combined! That's just incredible. What are your thoughts on these mobile strategy games? Do you play any? Did you know they were such big moneymakers?

Been playing MMOs since I first got my hands on Ultima Online when I was 12 years old. Played so many games from Star Wars Galaxies to MapleStory to DAoC to World of Warcraft. Long time League of Legends player too! I'm also Known as "ReMo" and "Remotay"

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2 comments

  • I think it has to do with the fact that not everyone has a gaming PC, but everyone has a smart phone nowadays. The audience for mobile strategy games largely consists of people who have nothing to do on the bus/subway to/from work or school, which is a lot of people already. Not to mention all the invites that the games make you send. I personally don't play any mobile strategy games (except Hearthstone) because they
    take way too much time/attention and are pay to win.

    • Yeah I get the accessibility, but $1.6 BILLION! That's CRAZY. It's nothing "new" either. Same nonsense as Evony or any browser based strategy game. There are SO many games like Clash of Clans. Hearthstone on mobile is fun. I wouldn't consider it a strategy game, it's a CCG. If Hearthstone had the same cash shop as Clash of Clans or Game of War, it would let you draw an extra card whenever for $1 a pop. Oh, short on life? $1 per life to insta gain it back!

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