Battle Pass Rebalance

Starting this month, we’re testing publishing our reports directly on our website in two pages: a Headline Release and a Market Watch. The Headline Release analyzes a new feature or event with especially impactful mechanics, while the Market Watch tears down other noteworthy feature, event, and app releases. Our goal is to make our reports nicer to read and make our Market Watch content more searchable.

While we make this transition, we will continue to publish our reports as PDFs. To download a PDF of the full report, click here. If you have any questions or feedback, please email Brett Nowak.

Headline Release

Clash Royale’s Pass Royale 2.0 battle pass update and accompanying An Update For Losers expansion led to a massive revenue increase of 41% MoM. However, this revenue dropped off quickly compared to previous updates, and the app’s active users decreased to its lowest point since September 2021. This decrease in active users is likely due in part to negative player reactions to the update, which made the premium pass less valuable to players while increasing its price. 

In addition to adding a second premium pass and tripling the number of reward tiers, Pass Royale 2.0 reduces valuable rewards that let players upgrade cards, requiring players to buy those items via IAPs instead. An Update For Losers helps to balance out this loss of rewards by introducing a seasonal shop where players exchange tokens for items that players use to complete upgrades.

These updates seem designed to address long-term monetization issues in Clash Royale caused by slow player progression, a reliance on selling card upgrades, and a relative lack of cosmetic options. Although Clash Royale has the highest active user base among Supercell apps, it generates less than half the revenue of Clash of Clans. By reducing the number of upgrade rewards, Pass Royale 2.0 and An Update For Losers may force players to spend more in order to fully upgrade their decks. This change is especially significant because Clash Royale has announced plans to increase the level cap on cards for the second time in the app’s history next month.

Release Trends

Missions, which include battle passes, are the second most common type of season released by tracked apps in the core market, although challenges, rewards, and interactions are common as well. Seasons are mechanics that release reskinned iterations at regular intervals.

Read our full analysis of Clash Royale’s Pass Royale 2.0 and An Update For Losers in this month’s Headline Release.

Market Watch

Soft-Launch and Breakout Apps

Honkai: Star Rail, the latest release in miHoYo’s Honkai series, became the top-grossing RPG app within a mere three weeks of its launch. In this installment, players navigate a vast world map using an interstellar train, explore diverse planets, visit train compartments, and interact with passengers. The app offers fast-paced tactical combat, excellent anime-inspired visuals, and an engaging storyline with full voice acting. 

Gods and Demons: Legend has extensive progression systems that allow players to upgrade heroes, equipment, pets, companions, skills, talents, mounts, and more. The app focuses heavily on its core gameplay loop, which involves battling monsters in an arena to earn items for upgrades.

Read our complete teardowns of these apps in this month’s Market Watch.

Feature and Event Releases

In Brawl Stars’ Catalog shop, players can spend premium currency or a new currency to buy nearly any cosmetic available in the app.

In Garena Free Fire’s Pet Smash, players control heroes based on in-game pets in top-down 2v2 matches. Each hero has a unique weapon, skill, and stats. 

In LifeAfter’s Escape Park, players control a flying drone to place enemies and items on a map. Players choose other players’ custom maps to participate in mini-game challenges. 

Read our full teardowns of all notable releases in this month’s Market Watch.

Looking for tailored insights on a specific topic? Liquid & Grit provides comprehensive app deconstructs, deep dives into market opportunities, and economy teardowns and analysis. For more info, see our Custom Work FAQ. If you have any questions or would like to request a project, email Brett Nowak.

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