If you haven't heard of Brawl Stars, it probably means you don't consider your self a mobile gamer. Developed and Published by Supercell (the same team behind the massively popular Clash of Clans and Clash Royale), Brawl Stars is one of the most polished freemium titles on IOS and the speed in which it has drawn a dedicated audience is startling.
Massive mobile numbers
Just 90 days after launch, Brawl Stars surpassed $150 million in user spending and over 75 million downloads. That was more than a year ago and things haven't slowed down in the slightest. On June 9th, Brawl Stars was released in China where, in the first week, it earned $17.5 million through 4.8 million additional downloads.
Did I mention Brawl Stars also has a thriving and massively popular esports scene? The Brawl Stars World Finals 2019 video is almost about to break 5 million views on YouTube -- in comparison, the most viewed Overwatch League match on YouTube has 1.7 million views. While PC esports fans are, in general, reluctant to embrace mobile titles, the success of Brawl Stars shows just how little that matters when it comes to the massive acceptance of mobile gaming as a legitimate platform for competitive gaming.
Currently number the number #14 trending video on YouTube, Supercell released a new animation this week featuring one of the game's most popular (and powerful) characters, an umbrella-wielding sniper named Piper. When is the last time you saw a PC competitive title release a fluff cinematic with this much positive reception in just two days?
It has been long speculated that the rise of mobile esports will require a breakout hit that manages to appeal to the competitive crowd as well as the casual one: Brawl Stars appears to be doing just that. On the surface, its gameplay is exceedingly simple. But once players become more experienced, layers of nuanced tactics and an ever-changing meta begin to emerge.
Movement is incredibly important in Brawl Stars, as the entire game revolves around landing and avoiding various skill shots. There is also a fog-of-war element in the form of tall grass that characters often weave in and out of, jockeying for position and the most advantages angle. The variety of different game modes and characters allow for satisfying 3 vs. 3 gameplay -- teams are rewarded for coordination as well as individual outplays that are always possible.
In other words, Brawl Stars features all of the best elements of traditionally successful esports. Competitive gaming aficionados would be wise to keep Brawl Stars on their radar -- it doesn't look like the popularity of this mobile game is fading away any time soon.
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.