Hitting the 10th anniversary is a big feat for any live-service game and as a clasher who has been playing the game on and off since 2015, we can understand how big this is for the entire fan base. Thus, we at GamingonPhone decided to conduct this interview with Supercell to help the fans know a little more than they generally know about Clash of Clans on the eve of the game’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
It would be great if you kindly introduce yourself/yourselves in brief for our readers
I’m Stuart, I’ve been working at Supercell for five and a half years and the Clash of Clans team for five years. I joined the team originally as a game programmer but I’ve been the game lead since December.
I’m Arto, I’ve been working at Supercell for almost ten years as a Game Artist. I originally started as a Freelancer doing art for Clash of Clans and Hay Day while they were still in Beta. When I joined the company I worked for Hay Day for a bit over 2 years and then moved to Clash of Clans in 2015 and have been on the team ever since.
I’m Marika, Community Manager in Clash of Clans. I started working at Supercell 11 years ago, originally as a Marketing Manager, but I switched to being the Community Manager for Clash of Clans when we launched the game in 2012.
How does the team feel about this massive 10th-anniversary milestone?
Stuart: We’re just thrilled that after 10 years the game is still doing so well at making our players happy and excited about what’s coming next. It’s a pretty small number of games that have managed to keep the loyalty and interest of their players for so long. We’re very grateful to our community for sticking with Clash of Clans and giving us the feedback we’ve needed to keep making the game better and better.
Arto: I feel really proud and humble that there is such a devoted fan base to keep Clash of Clans going strong after a decade.
Marika: The past 10 years have been the craziest, wildest, and most amazing adventure! Truly a once in a lifetime experience. I feel humbled and privileged to get to work with such a great team, on a game I really love, and most importantly: for the awesome Clash of Clans community!
Clash of Clans being the flagship title for the Clash universe as well as Supercell, how did the team celebrate this occasion?
Stuart: It’s been so busy between making all the anniversary pieces go out smoothly, getting ready for our big esports celebration next month, and developing the next major update that we’ve not had a big celebration yet. We had a replica made of the 10th Anniversary Cake that’s spawning in-game, we ate that as a team along with a little champagne to celebrate.
Arto: I think preparing for the anniversary has been a celebration of some sort itself. We had months to prepare all the cool stuff you now see in the game and at the same time take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the nostalgia of the early days.
Marika: I spent the official birthday with our content creators and pro players at our World Championship qualifier 🙂 We didn’t have a chance to celebrate big because everyone was busy preparing for the tournament, but that was still a very special day!
What were the biggest challenges that Clash of Clans faced in these 10 years?
Stuart: One big ongoing challenge for us is how we add new things to the game, growing its complexity while also maintaining the initial simplicity and accessibility of the game for new players. Keeping our games approachable for the most possible players to enjoy is a major focus for Supercell but of course, older players and we are excited to have new things to the game.
We try and do our best to keep the game accessible, simplifying things where complexity’s no longer needed, and we also know our community is smart enough to figure out the best ways to use the new elements added to the game.
Marika: I can’t think of any big individual challenge which would stand out. We’ve of course had our share of issues and challenges, but I feel that our team has been able to solve and overcome those, and has been able to continue making the game better and better for our players.
Other than the Clan Wars update, what is the biggest update to date?
Stuart: In terms of development it was probably the Clan Capital update. We had the initial idea in late 2018 but it took us until May 2022 to develop and ship it. Part of that was spending a lot of time experimenting with how we could make the gameplay feel different and distinct while still feeling like part of Clash of Clans.
Also technically it works very differently from a player’s own village since everything belongs to the Clan, even quite simple actions like editing the layout of the base needed different approaches. We also developed the feature alongside continuing our normal schedule of updates which of course prevented us from fully focusing. It felt like the right decision in the end and players were surprised we dropped such a massive update as few seemed to be expecting it.
Arto: I agree with Stuart. It has to be the Clan Capital. It took some time to build it from the idea to the solid feature on all fronts of the game development.
Marika: Clan Capital is by far the biggest update we’ve made so far! And to name an update that didn’t seem as big at the time, but which has had a huge positive impact on the game, is when we introduced Magic Items and Clan Games. Magic Items help players progress faster and Clan Games are a fun and easygoing thing for clans to do together.
The 10th-anniversary challenge is probably one of the best challenges we ever had in this game. How did the team come up with this challenging idea?
Stuart: Our marketing team came up with the fun idea of creating this fake alternate 40-year history for Clash. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, both on the Clash team and at Supercell overall. This felt like a really Clashy way of marking 10 years.
When we heard the pitch on the game team we were super-excited and then began to flesh out some of the in-game celebrations such as the 10 Years of Clash in-game set of challenges which paired nicely with what our marketing team was doing.
Marika: A lot of people from inside and outside of Supercell were involved in the 10th Anniversary preparations and planning. It was amazing to see all the ideas come to life and be enjoyed by our players!
Clash of Clans is still considered one of the best and most popular mobile titles of all time. How does the team keep up with the major challenges from modern games (such as PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact, Rise of Kingdoms, etc.) to keep the user base intact?
Arto: I think there is no secret recipe but just keeping the fans and players in the center of focus we are on the right track to achieving this.
Stuart: We feel we have a good understanding of what our players are looking for and as long as we focus on that we’ll make it better update by update. Although we’ve kept up with some trends in newer games it’s never been because we feel we have to. If something feels like a good fit for Clash of Clans we consider incorporating it.
Marika: We’re lucky to have a very active and engaged community who gives us feedback and keeps us posted about what they’d like to see in the game. We also have many avid Clashers in the development team, which helps us identify pain points that need to be fixed and come up with things that make the game more fun.
New Town Halls are generally introduced in a 2-year cycle. Having 14 Town Halls already, it is a big challenge for the newer players to grind up there. So the question here is, are we nearing the end of new Town Hall introductions? Or will it continue the way it has been until now?
Stuart: When we introduce a new Town Hall we take the time to look over the game overall and make whatever adjustments are needed to give newer players starting out a better time. Whether that is quality of life adjustments helping them, speeding up progression and costs, or features like the Starter Challenges we introduced with Town Hall 14, we’re always considering and doing things for the most players we can.
We’ve never struggled yet to think of exciting things to add to a Town Hall and as long as that holds true and we feel we can make adjustments for newer players I don’t see a reason why we’d stop adding Town Halls.
Has the team ever considered readjusting the troop introductions according to Town Halls? Until TH8, players get access to a handful of troops and from TH9, where the actual grind begins, players are given a whole bunch of new troops. What does the team think of the equal distribution of troop availability according to the Town Hall level?
Stuart: We are currently quite happy with the pace at which new players reach new troops. It’s important early on to not overwhelm players by giving them too many things to learn at once. Many of the troops that arrive later in the game have more complicated mechanics that take more time and complexity to understand. We have over time substantially sped up how quickly players get through to Town Hall 9 and beyond anyway and we think this is a better way to give players access to more things faster.
Will we ever see crossovers between other Supercell IPs? The introduction of some limited-time troops from Clash Royale was nice and the village scenery was decent. I guess the fans would love to see the same from other games.
Arto: Anything is possible as long as it feels clashy. I guess time will tell.
Stuart: We did actually do some crossovers with Brawl Stars when they had their global launch. We added a temporary troop who was dressed like the brawler El Primo and added a temporarily spawning decoration inspired by Spike. As Arto says more crossovers would have to make sense both in Clash and in the other game, for example, it’d be hard imagining the Hay Day chicken attacking a village!
Marika: This sounds fun! I wonder which crossover our players would like to see…?
Has the team ever considered giving the players an option to control their troops on the battlefield (like we have seen on Age of Empires: Castle Siege)?
Stuart: I don’t remember us discussing this kind of option while I’ve been on the team. There are a lot of moving parts and things to do in Clash of Clans attacks already. I would be worried that adding more micromanagement potential would hugely complicate things for the average player, the balance would have to be made with using the manual control in mind and therefore effectively require using it to keep playing well. We feel the game as-is already has plenty of strategic and tactical depth.
Clash of Clans being the flag bearer for Supercell, how the success of this game affects the development cycle of any other Supercell game?
Stuart: While we are extremely proud of Clash of Clans’ success we want to remind you that each game team makes their own decisions of what type of game they want to develop, how they want to do it, and what kind of content they’ll produce for it. Sometimes other teams make cool things that get us excited to make changes to Clash of Clans and we also hope to inspire other teams to reach for the stars!
The last question I have is not directly related to Clash of Clans but Clash fans would definitely love to know this. Clash Quest and Clash Mini are already soft-launched in selected regions, however, we haven’t heard anything about Clash Heroes since its first announcement. When can the fans expect an update about Clash Heroes?
Stuart: I’m sure the team gives an update when the time is right – meanwhile, there are other Clash games for the fans to play 🙂
Did you find this Clash of Clans interview on the occasion of the game’s 10th anniversary insightful? Let us know in the comments below!