Since the release of Clash of Clans in 2012, it has dominated the charts of every app store. This past year, the developer reported nearly 850 million dollars in revenue. 6 years later, and the game still faces controversy because of its lack of diversity. It was over 4 years before the developer released an update with a non-white character. This lack of diversity is painfully apparent while playing the game, and one of the main issues of an app that has for years set the standard for pay-to-win phone games.
Clash of Clans lacks any type of narrative or storyline, which begs the question, “How do players become so invested in the game?” While playing, I noticed that the game’s small achievements begin to stack up, and visibly seeing your own village grow is one of the more rewarding feelings you can have while playing video games. In this way, the game designers were able to capture their target audience. When you first start playing, it is very quick and easy to upgrade and add to your village. This visual aspect of seeing your base expand is enticing, while attacking and defeating another player’s village makes even the least competitive person want to win more. The game’s developers used the pull of Agon to make their game stick, and it worked to perfection.
Clash of Clans is a great casual game because it gives users the option of playing for hours every day, or just a few minutes. The lack of storyline actually works to this game’s advantage because it doesn’t force players to sit through cut scenes and narration. In today’s society, everyone is captivated by immediate gratification. People don’t want to wait for anything; they want to see the fruit of their labor immediately. This plays right into the hands of the game developers. By adding substantial wait times to upgrades the further you go in the game, people become impatient and spend money on resources that speed up building times. Clash of Clans is a veritable money tree: it allows casual gamers to play at their own pace, and forces competitive, hardcore gamers to spend hundreds of dollars every update to get the newest character or item. Genius.