Supercell’s Clash Royale has been the king of mobile games on YouTube for almost 2 years until now. The game’s YouTube viewership hit an all time low with only 301.2 million views in the month of March, a year ago that number was 1.4 billion, which is a dramatic decline of 80%, according to data from Matchmade (the leading influencer marketing platform for games, which analyses over 2.4 million gaming-related YouTube channels and over 220 million videos).
Moonton’s Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has beaten Clash Royale, with 301.9 million views in March’18 (only 31M in March’17). We’re only 10 days into April, but this far, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang continues its march: Clash Royale has 52.7M views in the month of April, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has 66.9M views. Boom! This data is based on public subscriber and view counts available on YouTube.
Can the recently announced 36 esports organisations spike up Clash Royale’s YouTube viewership?
Looking at the combined subscriber base of the 36 esports teams on YouTube (publicly available data on each team’s channel), it’s questionable whether they have the potential to turn the tide for Clash Royale’s viewership. The subscriber reach of the teams totals almost 2.2M on YouTube (data based on publicly available subscriber numbers on YouTube). It remains to be seen if the subscribers of the esports teams will convert into viewers of Clash Royale more broadly.
Brief history of Clash Royale on YouTube
Supercell launched its 4th mobile game Clash Royale in March 2016. The game was very successful out of the gate, and it became the top grossing mobile game in the world.
Clash Royale has reached very high viewership especially thanks to their live tournaments, which have drawn audiences of millions online. Clash Royale has also been a trendy game among content creators on YouTube . Comparing to Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, which launched in November 2016, Clash Royale grew a lot of faster out of the gate.
Clash Royale’s viewership on YouTube first dipped in the summer of 2016 largely due to the launch and craze over Pokemon Go. Clash Royale’s viewership picked up again in December’17 (Crown Championships World Finals took place), but has been in steady decline since. Recently, Clash Royale’s decline has steepened as Fortnite has taken over YouTube viewership (see our in-depth analysis on our blog).
In the below graph, we’ve compared YouTube viewership of some of the biggest mobile titles (with the exception of Fortnite Battle Royale, which is multi-platform and the King of YouTube). What’s clear is that Clash Royale’s reign is over – and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is widening the gap between itself and other mobile titles, when most other games have a steady monthly viewership with little overall change.
The future is esports?
Mobile Legends Bang Bang has been investing in esports since early 2017. Clash Royale has taken their time building and testing their competitive scene – and this year invests with a bigger push, with a USD 1 million seasonal prize pool and 36 pro-teams. It remains to be seen what kind of viewership their esports attract. (Disclaimer: we don’t have a confirmed source for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports and may be mistaken about dates. Please email [email protected] if you have feedback!)
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is especially popular in Southeast Asia (SEA), and 70% of their viewership comes from that region (based on estimates combining publicly available data about downloads and player base + data on Matchmade platform). As part of their esports efforts, Clash Royale has signed 11 teams in Asia and another 8 in China, which indicates that Supercell is going after the Asian esport market, which has long been dominated by other titles.
- Clash Royale has lost the crown of most viewed mobile game on YouTube (monthly, not total cumulated viewership).
- In Southeast Asia, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has been reigning since their launch and just tookover the world.
- Clash Royale’s decline is so steep that although only 30% of Mobile Legend: Bang Bang’s viewership comes from outside of SEA, it is enough to dominate over global viewership. Further research and analysis is needed to understand how YouTube viewership is split across regions more broadly (note for future blogpost!) and if this is a larger trend.
- By recruiting 36 pro esports teams for Clash Royale League, Supercell is making a bet in esports and it remains to be seen if the teams will reheat interest in the game on YouTube.
- As mentioned in our previous post, the YouTube algorithm has undergone significant changes, which has impacted how content is discovered.