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Supercell: "There's no reason" why there aren't more mobile games at Summer Game Fest

Studio tells us how Ken Jeong in a chicken suit helped secure a rare trailer slot for latest hit Squad Busters

Supercell believes there's room for more mobile games to be highlighted during events like Summer Game Fest.

The Finnish developer was the only company to have a mobile-only game featured during this year's showcase on Friday, with the star-studded live-action trailer for Squad Busters promoting its most recent hit.

However, the studio's marketing boss Rob Lowe tells GamesIndustry.biz that the organisers of Summer Game Fest were reluctant to include the game at first.

"It wasn't easy," he says. "Geoff [Keighley, founder and host] was like, 'We don't really do that.' They'd done a bit on Genshin Impact but that's on console as well. They hadn't really done much with mobile-only games, they were about reticent [about it]."

Lowe adds that Supercell's request was aided by a video by actor and comedian Ken Jeong, dressed as the chicken from the studio's mobile game Hay Day (as he appears in the Squad Busters trailers), talking to the camera about Summer Game Fest.

"I think that played into Geoff's ego quite nicely," he laughs, "so he was like, 'Alright, we'll put you in.' We still paid for the privilege obviously. But seriously - we both agreed it was important to have something that contextualised the trailer for that engaged SGF audience, so it was great to get the piece from Ken in there as an intro to the ad."

Given that mobile accounts for around half of the global games market's revenues, Lowe asserts that it's important for mobile-only games to be part of the same discussions as console and PC titles, which tend to be the focus of events like Summer Game Fest and the various Not-E3 showcases happening over the past few days.

"We see ourselves as a company that want to take similar track to what Nintendo does in console gaming, but in mobile gaming," said Lowe. "The way we make our games, the way we market our games... it's something that's very dear to me. It just so happens that a phone is a console that everyone has in their pocket.

"There's no reason why it should not be able to have some of the greatest games showcased alongside games that you happen to play on a PC and console – and you'll probably soon be able to play all those on a smartphone anyway with all the streaming services that Netflix and Xbox are working on."

Released on May 29, Squad Busters is a multiplayer action game that gathers characters from all of Supercell's previous titles, including Hay Day, Clash of Clans. It has already been downloaded more than 30 million times and generated $1.1 million at launch.

We'll have a full interview with Supercell later in the week.

This article has been amended to clarify the tone. Following publication, Supercell also reached out with additional comments and context regarding the Ken Jeong trailer.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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