On June 21st, Chinese internet giant Tencent Holding Ltd. and its partners purchased 84.3% of mobile game developer Supercell Oy for a total of $8.6 billion. Supercell is responsible for developing four of the biggest mobile games on the market today: Hay Day, Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, and Clash Royale. Clash Royale, the most recently developed game under Supercell’s belt, is a game designed with Esports in mind. Tencent knows this and realized the potential here in its early stages, although it is already thriving globally as a mobile Esports game.
Now this is not by any means Tencent’s first rodeo. They began investing in League of Legends developer, Riot Games, in 2011. Since then, financial support for the game has skyrocketed along with all the numbers that matter. In 2011, League of Legends accumulated 32.5 million players total with 4.2 million playing daily. Currently, in 2016, it sees an average of 27 million players each day. Looking at the Esports side of things, League of Legends has surpassed Dota 2 in viewership numbers since Tencent entered the ring and it is now the biggest Esports game in the world. With that being said, it is a fair assumption to make that Tencent will be attempting to achieve that same success with Supercell and its mobile Esports game, Clash Royale.
One thing that needs to be brought to attention is the fact that because Clash Royale is a mobile game, the potential numbers in terms of players and viewership is exponentially larger than the case with League of Legends. Almost everybody has a smartphone nowadays, which makes it fair to say that Clash Royale has a much larger potential audience due to League of Legends being based on PC, which is unarguably less accessible. Not to mention that Clash Royale is a much easier game for anybody to pick up and play casually, unlike League of Legends’ tough learning curve. Tencent has acknowledged this and plans to take full advantage of the situation because they have the financial means to do so. You can expect to see more money going into promotion for Supercell games, especially Clash Royale, as well as more money going into the Esports scene that Clash Royale has initiated. Big name sponsors are going to start looking at the best players in the world in an effort to snatch up their top spot on the mobile Esports stage.
Just following the acquisition of the stake by Tencent, Supercell tweeted a sneak peek of their newest feature to Clash Royale “Tournaments”. You can expect to see Supercell’s 100 million daily active users multiply over the next few years solely due to the new amount of funding that is available to the management that Tencent is allowing to keep operational independence. Tencent knows that Supercell is already doing things right, they merely bought the majority stake so they can have their cake and eat it too.
Written by Dylan Didiano
Edited by Williaf
Featured Image provided by Supercell
Video provided by the Wall Street Journal
Image provided by Clash Royale’s Twitter Page
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