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Squad Busters - Supercell's breakthrough in the genre or a failed release?

Squad Busters is a new game from Supercell in the Action genre, which was first released on 29 May this year. The game was the company's biggest release in the last 6 years and the first game by the company to bypass a soft launch. However, after a month, the company's daily revenue dropped by over 50% and players started complaining about certain issues and flaws in the game. What was the cause and what this game is actually like, analysts from AppMagic tried to understand.

Supercell is taking casual games to the next level?

What is Squad Busters all about? AppMagic analysts highlight the key features of this game:
  • It is an accessible arcade game that combines elements of MOBA, Battle Royale and Roguelike, where players form squads of characters from various Supercell games;
  • The core gameplay consists of collecting and upgrading characters to engage in PvPvE battles in a fast-paced, dynamic environment;
  • Like other Supercell games, this one aims to be fun for both beginners and intermediate level players;
Nevertheless, there is no sense to describe this game in detail, because despite everything it turned out to be quite interesting and original. If you want to get to know it better, we strongly advise you to play and evaluate it yourself. We are sure that you will like it.
The main loop of the game is inspired by the cancelled MOBA/Battle Royale project from Supercell Floodrush: it was even hinted at in the article about its closure. Squad Busters inherited the core gameplay but made it more dynamic, casual and chaotic. The setting was also changed to a crossover IP, which contributes to the game's recognisability and is one of its key selling points. They even made a live-action trailer with Chris Hemsworth to celebrate the multi-IP paradigm.

Instead of the traditional MOBA structure - farm => battle => finals - Squad Busters reduces it to just two phases: farming and finals. This gives players a clear, consistent in-game logic that allows them to refine their skills while providing more dynamic and fun matches than the long grinds of traditional MOBAs, where each match lasts only four minutes.

Instead of the typical Battle Royale one-on-one final confrontation, the game wants all players to face off at the same time. As a result, the end of most matches turns into chaotic fun: a cacophony of sound effects, a visual mishmash of players, PvE mobs, and resources falling from everywhere.
The basis of match progression in Squad Busters revolves around a "pick-of-3" mechanic that clearly draws inspiration from elements of Roguelike. In Squad Busters, you collect characters that function similarly to the upgrades in these Roguelike games, allowing you to experiment with builds and aim for your favourite combination.

Key steps that target casual players

  1. Lightning-fast player selection and fast games: Matches are picked up instantly and play out in just four minutes. This makes the game ideal for short breaks or for playing on the go, which is especially appealing to casual gamers.
  2. Unlimited matches: The game can be played indefinitely. Even if you run out of reward tickets, you can continue to participate in matches without interruption. This allows you to complete quests and attracts hardcore players looking to improve their skills.
  3. A unique balance of PvE and PvP: Squad Busters offers an original blend of PvE and PvP elements, allowing players to instantly start a PvP session or avoid it completely until the end of the battle. Mobs and the map itself provide enough gems to win, even without engaging in battles.
  4. Affordable win conditions: Five out of ten players in Squad Busters are considered winners, making it one of the most accessible multiplayer games available. This approach is geared towards casual players, ensuring a more enjoyable and satisfying experience.
  5. Flexible monetisation: An important aspect is the ability for players to disable personalisation, including the complete removal of triggered offers. This innovation is exciting and we'll be eager to see how it plays out in the game. Perhaps Supercell, based on research from previous games, has identified a significant portion of players who are annoyed by excessive offers and clutter in the shop. If this approach proves successful, it could become a new trend in personalisation settings for different genres.


Squad Busters is an amazing game that boldly combines elements from different genres such as puzzles and MOBAs. It's not afraid to adapt to player preferences, offering the option to disable personalised monetisation. Most importantly, it doesn't shy away from admitting its mistakes, promptly fixing flaws made at launch.
Nevertheless, the game is not without its flaws. It has issues with player retention and weaknesses in various aspects of functionality. The declining performance indicates that the current formula is insufficient to turn Squad Busters into the next big sensation. However, with Supercell's expertise in managing LiveOps, the game is still fun to watch!
If Squad Busters manages to build on its success, we may witness the emergence of a new genre - Roguelike x MOBA x Battle Royale. Moreover, the strategy of releasing AAA-like games without a soft launch and with an emphasis on massive marketing and immediate global release could become a new trend among major publishers.

Because of the delicate balance the game maintains between mid-level and casual elements, as well as the unique genre mix at its core, Squad Busters feels like something special and stands out in Supercell's portfolio. This seems to be enough to minimise the risk of distracting audiences from Supercell's other projects.
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