Tencent-backed Supercell’s Mobile Game ‘Brawl Stars’ Tops Free Chart in China

Tencent and Yoozoo Games on Tuesday launched mobile game developer Supercell’s 3V3 battle royale title Brawl Stars in China. The game soon made it to the top of App Store’s free games chart, game media GameLook reported.

Despite being a casual shooter game, Brawl Stars has beaten Tencent’s MOBA title Honour of Kings and NetEase’s most recent title in the Fantasy Westward Journey franchise on iOS.

Players of the Tencent-distributed version of Brawl Stars will be able to register game accounts with their WeChat or QQ accounts and create premade teams with contacts from the two messaging apps. Players can also see how many of their WeChat or QQ contacts are currently playing the game.

As the fifth title released by the Finnish developer Supercell, Brawl Stars was officially released in overseas markets in December 2018, racking up more than 141 million unique installs globally as of the end of 2019, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.

However, the game has been unable to enter the Chinese market due to the absence of approval from China’s State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP), which decided to lower the number of games it would approve each year in April 2019. Brawl Stars was given the green light by the authority this March.

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Brawl Stars is one of Supercell’s most profitable titles, earning a total of $646.8 million globally to date, Sensor Tower told PocketGamer. South Korean players were the top contributors, spending roughly $119.5 million in the game since it became available in the country in December 2018.

In June 2016, a consortium of which Tencent was part bought an 81.4% stake in Supercell, according to a report from Forbes. The Finnish mobile developer was reportedly valued at $10.2 billion at the time, making the transaction one of the biggest gaming deals.

In October 2019, Tencent increased its share in the consortium from 50% to 51.2%, giving the gaming giant a majority stake in Supercell. Despite being the subsidiary of Tencent, Supercell has kept its operational independence and remains in Finland.