Finnish studio Supercell is making a follow-up to the massively popular mobile game Clash of Clans, and to do so it's combining two of the biggest genres in gaming.
The just announced Clash Royale — which has soft-launched on iOS in just a few countries, including Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and New Zealand — takes elements from collectible card games like Hearthstone and merges them with real-time competitive strategy games like Dota 2 or League of Legends. You collect cards that represent various characters and spells, and then use them to battle other players in real time. (You can get a brief glimpse of the game in action in the video above.) The whole experience is set in the Clash of Clans universe, and like that game, Clash Royale is free to download and feature in-app purchases.
Supercell is behind several popular mobile games, including Hay Day and Boom Beach, but Clash of Clans has proved to be the developer's biggest hit. It regularly ranks among the top-grossing apps on both iOS and Android, and in 2013 the company earned $892 million in revenue, based primarily on the success of Clans. Last year the company promoted the game with a $9 million Super Bowl commercial starring Liam Neeson that's been viewed more than 94 million times on YouTube.
The company's rapid rise led to a major investment from Japanese firm Softbank, which now owns a 51 percent stake in the company, and at the time Supercell had very lofty ambitions. "We want to build a company that people all over the globe will look back at in 30 years and talk about all the great games that we developed and the impact they had on people's lives," CEO Ilkka Paananen said. "The same way I personally feel about Nintendo, for example."
While Clash Royale is set in the same universe, Supercell notes that it isn't considering the game a sequel to Clash of Clans, and that both games are being developed by separate teams. "There are currently no developers working on both Clash Royale and Clash of Clans," the developer says. "We plan to keep these teams separate going forward." There's currently no word on when Clash Royale will be released globally, nor if it's planned for platforms other than iOS.