It’s been nearly five years since Supercell launched a game globally. Could new monster hunting action-RPG Mo.co be the game to end that dry spell? Maybe.
The new Diablo-like multiplayer game has been open for beta testing for US-based Android players since October 25. But alongside fellow in-development titles Squad Busters, Clash Mini and Clash Heroes, Supercell is not guaranteed to ever go global with it.
“Essentially a Supercell-ized mix of Diablo Immortal, Monster Hunter, and Warcraft, Mo.co takes the essence of what makes those games fun and strips out the convoluted mechanics,” he continued.
“Like Diablo and Monster Hunter, the loop is simple – hunt monsters to acquire resources so you can craft and upgrade gear. Rinse and repeat. How it changes the formula is through its accessibility and dynamic multiplayer. Hunting takes place on large maps called worlds and you can jump in and out of a world at any time which is perfect for a quick hunting session or an extended engagement; the player has complete freedom to dictate the pace.”
“The world system also ensures that when you do jump into a world, you see lots of real players hunting. The multiplayer feels fluid and dynamic and unlike anything else out there. When you enter a world, you can roam around and form informal hunting groups to smack up some mobs, then split up to do a quick solo run to find treasure chests, and then join another party to attack a boss – all in one hunting session.”
“Mo.co feels like a reimagining of the MMORPG for a mobile audience that is fun, engaging and opens up the funnel to a hardcore genre,” adds Phang. “While we’ll need an extended look at the game for its long-term potential, the first signs are looking very positive indeed.”
As game design consultant Jakub Remiar notes in the Two and a Half Gamers video on the limited beta, the game is focused on PvE combat rather that PvP, and also takes inspiration from games like Path of Exile and Lost Ark. “It’s the usual Supercell playbook,” says Remiar. “They take something that works very well on the market already and they iterate it, adjust it for mobile, make it more streamlined, approachable and intuitive to play.”
“That’s what they did with Brawl Stars taking on the MOBA genre and that’s what they did when they took Clash of Clans from Backyard Monsters on browser. And then with Clash Royale they did it with synchronous multiplayer on mobile.”
Remiar stresses that while the most obvious comparison is with Diablo, during runs the onus is on team-based play more than you might be expecting. He says the mix of abilities you need to take down enemies effectively (tank, healer, DPS), brings it a “little bit closer to something like World of Warcraft.”
“They are really taking this much more ‘core’ than I expected,” says Remiar. “It’s not about the gear, it’s about the required level of cooperation for your team.”
He also draws comparison to Path of Exile in how your character build is structured. Remiar says that ‘classes’ do not exist in the game and your character doesn’t have inherent properties – meaning the abilities, weapons and items you acquire define the character’s skillset. “Every character can do everything,” he says. It’s likely another way Supercell is smoothing out genre conventions to reduce complexity and increase build flexibility and depth.
Remiar also notes that the shop, while basic at this stage, uses a currency called MoCoin and has a season pass, Mo.co Plus. There are also Chaos Cubes that can be bought so that players can finish off levelling up specific gear.
There doesn’t seem to be any gacha in the game or random item drops from bosses or levels completed at this point, which Remiar notes might be a problem long-term. Chasing or grinding for that rare item is a big part of the retention dynamic in games like Diablo or WoW, he says.
As the Two and a Half Gamers crew note, Supercell’s network of influencers have also had their say as the beta rolled out, though it should be noted they likely have partnerships with the company so should not be considered impartial.
Long-time Supercell partner KairosTime says he is confident that Mo.co will get to global launch (ahead of the likes of Squad Busters, Clash Mini and Clash Heroes). Fellow influencer Lex compares the game to Diablo, and runs through the different worlds, enemies and weapons you can encounter in the beta in his take on the game.
Supercell has not released a new game worldwide since it launched Brawl Stars in December 2018.
Clash Mini has been in soft launch since November 2021 and Clash Heroes is in early development, but has not reached beta yet. Supercell cancelled soft launch game Clash Quest last year, closing its servers in September 2022, and also revealed and quickly cancelled battler Flood Rush earlier this year.
Supercell boss Ilkka Paananen has previously stated that of the games currently in development, Squad Busters is furthest along. That game has also been through rounds of beta testing. We asked several industry experts for their thoughts on whether Squad Busters could be Supercell’s next billion-dollar smash here.