Asking the internet for its opinion on your game is fraught with danger, but Supercell is doing it anyway with the recent expansion of its creator program.
It recently announced a raft of changes to how it works with YouTube, Twitch and TikTok influencers, lowering the thresholds required to enter. Led by Supercell’s Rick Crane, the framework provides influencers with asset kits, tips, tricks, and other resources to help them make videos and get them noticed online. Plus, of course, potential financial support can come later, once creators reach a certain scale.
These player-creators get a peek at forthcoming features and free in-game currency. And some get invited into Supercell’s Discord and Slack groups to interact directly with game-makers.
It all helps the Finnish firm gather player feedback from those that know the game inside out, Crane tells us. “I’d say the majority of people that would be watching our creators or responding to us on Twitter are the hardcore,” he says.
“So you have to take into account that this is the hardcore fan base. But with the information that we get as well from player support tickets and all the other avenues, that’s when the decisions are made by the game team. They’re in charge of what they believe is the best thing for the game, we just provide that feedback and they can make that decision.”
Crane says Supercell’s game-makers welcome honest feedback from creators, even if it is negative. And though many of them are earning through Supercell’s creator codes, the company does not enter into exclusive deals with influencers like many other companies do, as it tends to skew the feedback.
“If you go into exclusivity contracts with people, they kind of have to be nice to towards the game company they’re working for,” says Crane. “With us, we don’t like doing that. We like the pure feedback that we’re getting from creators and players because then we can make those honest changes.”
Having previously worked with a pool of around 1,000 creators across YouTube, Twitch and TikTok, Crane says sign-ups to the new creator program have rocketed 800% since the new policies were announced.
And it’s a creator landscape that’s constantly shifting. After the rise of YouTube and later Twitch, Crane says TikTok is about to overtake those older platforms in terms of sheer numbers. It is already working with one of TikTok’s biggest livestreamers JuicyJ, who is primarily a Clash Royale streamer.
From its rather humble beginnings as a Slack channel with a handful of creators, Crane says Supercell’s creator program is now much better resourced and there are further announcements coming in 2024.
“We’ve never been really official about it or shouting from the rooftops because we just didn’t feel it was quite there yet,” he adds. “But now we’re super happy with where it is, so we can talk about it loud and proud now.”