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Squad Busters nearly didn’t make the cut for Summer Game Fest

Summer Game Fest's mobile offering is always notably lacking compared to other platforms, but Supercell's Squad Busters broke through.

Summer Game Fest mobile: A Squad Busters pirate and a chicken outlined in white alongside many gold coins, pasted on a blurred still from the SGF trailer

According to Supercell, there’s “no reason” behind the lack of Summer Game Fest mobile titles. The Finnish developer’s latest Squad Busters trailer was the only mention of a mobile-only title during last week’s showcase, despite the growing global trend towards mobile gaming.

Supercell’s marketing lead Rob Lowe told GamesIndustry.biz that the most recent Squad Busters trailer almost didn’t make the cut for the Summer Game Fest 2024 showcase, despite its stacked cast of Hollywood actors and the game’s incredibly successful global launch. According to Lowe, SGF’s founder and host Geoff Keighley told Supercell that his organization “[doesn’t] really do that,” in reference to mobile-only and mobile-first titles.

While Summer Game Fest and The Game Awards have collaborated with gacha games like Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail in the past, Squad Busters is the first solely mobile title to make it into the main showcase’s schedule. GIBiz’s James Batchelor points out that “mobile accounts for around half of the global games market’s revenues” currently, and reports like Adjoe and Statista’s Mobile Games Index show that this trend is set to continue.

Squad Busters’ SGF trailer stars world-renowned celebrities like Chris Hemsworth, but according to Lowe, it was actor and comedian Ken Jeong’s introductory video that got Keighley on side. He said, “I think that played into Geoff’s ego quite nicely… we both agreed it was important to have something that contextualized the trailer for that engaged SGF audience, so it was great to get the piece from Ken in there as an intro to the ad.”

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Supercell’s IP mash-up mobile game is already topping global charts as Squad Busters installs soared past 30 million in the first week. With results like these, we’re inclined to agree with Lowe when he says, “There’s no reason why it should not be able to have some of the greatest games showcased alongside games that you happen to play on a PC and console.”

That’s the lowdown on Squad Busters’ appearance at Summer Games Fest 2024. Check out our Squad Busters codes and Squad Busters tier list to jump-start your adventure through the purple portal, or catch up on SGF’s indie announcements in our Day of the Devs 2024 round-up.

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