An epic strategy game

Answer the call of the mustache! Join the international fray that is Clash of Clans. Customize your village, build an army and crush your opponents. Like using friendship to strike fear into your enemies? Join a Clan, or establish a Clashing legacy by creating your own. The choice is yours in this millions-strong community of Barbarians. Download for free and Clash on, Chief!

Constantly Evolving

Clash of Clans has been constantly evolving to offer more user-friendly, consistent and fun online experiences for Supercell gamers. There have been countless updates since the game launched in 2012.

Global Launch
2012
Battle Replays
 
Heroes
 
Leagues
 
Android Launch
 
Clan Wars
 
Today

Preparing for battle

The Clash of Clans team has a reputation for being fast. You kind of have to be when your job is to create one of the world’s fiercest battlefields. But when the time was finally right to create Clan Wars, this fast-moving team had to slow things down. See why this update took longer than the rest and why the end result was worth the wait.

“Why is it called Clash of Clans when the clans don’t clash?”

An astute question, thought the game team as they pondered what would become Clash’s most significant update. Players were eager to wage war since the game was in its infancy. The team presumed that they would one day release Clan Wars, but not before months of planning, quite a few hours of lost sleep and, subsequently, many liters of caffeine.

So why wasn’t Clan Wars part of the original concept? The answer is probably less complex than one might imagine: the team simply didn’t know how they wanted it to work. It was a matter of timing really. Clash was very young then, requiring an aging process to grow roots in the community. Gauging player expectation and interest is an utmost priority, and ignoring that by way of lazy implementation would betray the team’s values. “We knew we wanted to do something really crazy and take it to the next level”, says senior game developer Andreas. “Really crazy” isn’t done in an afternoon anyway. This was going to take time.

As senior server engineer Jonas puts it: “We could have done something really quick and really simple months earlier, but we didn’t want the players to say ‘Ok, we’re bored, what’s next?’ after a week.” Foresight took precedence. Real time strategy games, already a hallmark of mobile gaming, sought to capitalize on player desire for Clan Wars, with other companies creating their own wily takes on the concept. However undeterred, the Clash team chose to move slowly, making sure both they and the community were ready before dropping such a game-changing feature.

What followed carried the team from November 2013, all the way to April 2014. It was five straight months of rigorous development.

“We knew we wanted to do something really crazy and take it to the next level.”

  • It's the team that is fully responsible for how the game is made.
  • Clash of Clans is played all over the world in 14 different languages.
  • How many screens can you fit on one desk?

“We were driven by our own desire to play, not by market research or hearing from above that ‘this needs to be done’. At Supercell, we’re all market researchers.”

Taking five months for a single update is atypical for the team’s usual modus operandi. Typically, an update is a four to six week ordeal. But the enormous desire for Clan Wars inspired the team to push utterly for polish.

“There was no rush because the game’s initial social implementation was very simple, but it was just interesting enough that it worked to keep people into the game”, says Jonas. Maintaining simplicity was imperative; Clash had to have a sense of purity by way of consistency in gameplay mechanics.

Developing Clan Wars took as long as it did because producing something so simple is, in practice, complicated. By the end of development, the team had experimented with no less than four versions of the concept before eventually going live.

As game artist James put it: “One morning we were getting ready to present the art we’d been working on and someone said ‘This just doesn’t feel like Clash’. We all knew it wasn’t working, but we needed one person to say it out loud. We did that twice. And the game is better for it.” This level of candidness is not out of the ordinary.

In the very first company playable (when Supercell’s disparate departments gather to test new content), 40 employees faced off against 40 others. The feedback wasn’t what the team was hoping for. “Some people didn’t know how to do anything at all, although it was totally clear in our minds. It was just too complex”, says Jonas. When the team realized the concept was loftier than it had to be, they hunkered down to have another go.

Their response was swift and characteristic of their agility. They gathered together, saying: “Ok, what can we do to make this work in a realistic way?” They created a list of must-have features and nice-to-have features, some making it to the finished product, others being shelved.

“It’s still a very small focused group of people working on a game they really care about.”

According to the team, what helped most was that every designer was already committed to Clashing. They knew what they wanted as a team and as fans of the game. “We were driven by our own desire to play, not by market research or hearing from above that ‘this needs to be done’. At Supercell, we’re all market researchers”, says Andreas.

Clan Wars turned out the way it did simply because it was created by people who love the game. “You have to believe in what you’re creating. If you play the game, you know what it needs”, says Jonas.

But ask them if it’s easy to join the Clash team and you’ll get a collective “No”, which is fitting, since “no” is used quite liberally in their workspace. When “no” isn’t being said, they opt for silence. But according to team-members who’ve joined from abroad, that’s just part of life in Finland.

“Honesty in Finland is critical, but only in a constructive way. If something doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work. It’s not because everyone hates you”, says game artist James. That raw honesty not only suits the determined denizens of Helsinki but is also a regular sentiment within the team. As Jonas says: “Our team is amazingly pragmatic. When we see a problem, everyone is completely committed to fixing it. This is something unique to the Finnish gaming industry in general and our team in particular.”

Most of all, the team’s efficiency can be attributed to one of Clash’s central tenants: simplicity. “The technology is simple, but it works. The art is very simple, but it’s pretty. Game play is simple, but it has lots of depth”, says Andreas. Keeping this in perspective helps maintain the balance necessary for a game that’s always under construction.

The team’s members have changed completely since the game first launched, but it remains the same at heart. “It’s still a very small, focused group of people working on a game they really care about.”

“Our team is amazingly pragmatic. When we see a problem, everyone’s completely committed to fixing it.”

What the press says

  • Pocket Gamer December 18, 2012

    Clash of Clans is a superb game, freemium or otherwise, with more nuance than most give it credit for. That's why it's passed the test of time since its launch and still has an active community devotedly constructing elaborate fortresses in the hope of becoming invincible.”

  • CNET April 26, 2014

    “The latest "Clash" update shook things up by enabling clans to fight other clans, bringing a new level of strategy to the game. For the first time, clan members had to coordinate with one another to attack different players in an opposing clan. The system is balanced so more-advanced players can't just pick on weaker ones. The subtle, but significant change re-energized my interest and is a textbook lesson on how an app developer can keep interest alive in an aging game.”

  • Gamezebo August 7, 2012

    Clash of Clans is thus a simple game, but that’s more of a strength than a weakness. It’s simple enough to provide quick, painless matches on an iPhone in an idle moment, and there are enough different units to choose from in the battle mode to make playing against other players endlessly rewarding. Best of all, the option to fight against NPC goblins gives Clash of Clans a small edge over similar strategy games that rely almost entirely on player-versus-player combat.”

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