Mobile Games Hotspot: 'Clash of Clans' Hit $722M in 2019; 'Pokemon Home' App Sets Release Window

Clash of Clans - Supercell Publicity-h 2020
Courtesy of Supercell

Elsewhere in gaming-on-the-go: 'Final Fantasy XV MMORPG' is coming to phones and it's a big month for 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.'

Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.

Clash of Clans, originally released in 2012, saw a comeback in 2019 as the free-to-play mobile title saw its first year-over-year increase in player spending since 2015. Supercell, the makers of Clash of Clans, reclaimed their status as one of the top five highest-grossing publishers in 2019.

The newfound success can be largely attributed to the introduction of the Gold Pass, a new paid monthly subscription that provides players with seasonal challenges and rewards. When the $4.99 pass released last April, player spending jumped to 66 million in the first month, a 58 percent increase month-to-month. The Gold Pass follows other mobile games like PUBG Mobile's battle pass and Mario Kart Tour's gold pass that provide players with seasonal gifts and objectives along with an incentive to return.

By year's end, Clash of Clans had raked in $722 million for 2019, up from $572 million in 2018. 

Here's what else is happening in the world of mobile games:

Pokemon HOME Coming Next Month

Thursday's morning's Pokemon Direct revealed a great deal for Nintendo Switch titles Pokemon Sword and Shield, but left fans looking forward to the mobile initiative Pokemon Sleep a bit disappointed. While the upcoming app did not get a mention, a release window for Pokemon HOME, the companion mobile app to Sword and Shield that allows the transfer of Pokemon caught in previous games to the Nintendo Switch games, was announced. Expect a release some time in February of 2020.

1 Million Pre-Registrations for Shadowgun War Games

The highly anticipated Shadowgun War Games proved its building hype when it surpassed 1 million pre-registrations this month. The new milestone was reached not long after 500,000 pre-registrations were made for the game in December. Madfinger Games' upcoming multiplayer hero shooter draws heavy inspiration from Overwatch, but aims to bring a similar experience to mobile. Keep an eye for its release currently set on Feb. 16 on iOS and Android.

Final Fantasy XV MMORPG for Mobile Announced

A third mobile game based in the Final Fantasy XV universe was announced this week. According to Kotaku, the mobile MMORPG will run on Unreal Engine 4 and feature touch-based controls and similar visuals to those used in the console version. A global release is planned after an initial release in China. The first Final Fantasy XV mobile game, A New Empire, boasts 58 million downloads since its release in 2017. A second game released in 2018, Pocket Edition, saw a significantly smaller number of downloads with 4 million.

Iron House Joins Marvel Realm of Champions

A third faction in Marvel Realm of Champions got the spotlight this week with the full reveal of the House of Iron. Led by Stark Prime, the Tony Stark look-alike AI, the house is a complete technological wonderland with locales like Extremis City and the Avengers Compound serving as important landmarks. Previous houses for the upcoming mobile game include the Temple of Vishanti and Patriot Garrison.

New Year, New Events for Wizards Unite

Fans of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite have a lot to look forward to in the month of January as each week offers some kind of new event, most of which revolve around the legacy of Dumbledore. Starting this week, players can earn free Foundables from the Ice Confoundables and a community day is set for Jan. 18. The final two weeks feature Brilliant Foundables focused on Dumbledore elated characters and fights.