Here’s why the Clash of Clans walls are so expensive:
In the simplest terms, walls are expensive in the game because of how effective they are.
If you are playing without using real money, you have to balance your in-game budget in order to get the best wall structure possible to protect your village.
Because of in-app purchasing, walls are expensive to drive revenue.
So if you want to learn all about why Clash of Clans walls cost so much, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right into it!
What Is Clash of Clans?
If we’re going to get into the economics of Clash of Clans, then it’s only going to make sense to spend a little bit of time talking about what Clash of Clans is and what the walls are (which is covered in the next section).
The most basic starting point is to say that Clash of Clans is a mobile game.
You can play it on Android or iOS devices.
It was originally developed by Supercell, which is a company based out of Finland.
It was first released for iOS in August of 2012.
A year later, it was released on the Android store in October of 2013.
So, the game has been around for a while, and it has a large player base.
According to third-party statistics, it has over 500 million users, and it has surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue.
We’ll get more into the economics of the game a little later.
To get a little deeper into this game, it is considered a strategy game.
Players control a village where they can build up the village infrastructure, buildings, and defenses.
Each village exists in a persistent master world that includes other players at the same time, and players can attack each others’ villages in order to gain in-game resources that they can use to expand their own options.
You can join others to create clans and large groups, and you can even participate in massive wars with your teammates.
Overall, the point of Clash of Clans is to expand your village and your overall power within the greater virtual world.
What Are the Walls in Clash of Clans?
Since Clash of Clans is all about attacking and defending villages, it might not surprise you to learn that as a player, you can build defensive structures for your own village.
You have a ton of different options, and a popular choice among them is the wall.
The wall is very much going to match your expectations.
It’s a structure that prevents ground units from progressing.
It’s a physical obstruction in their way.
You can build walls just about anywhere you want, and most commonly, players ring their village with outer walls.
It looks a lot like what you might expect from a medieval village.
Building a wall, like any structure, costs in-game currency.
The amount of currency will depend on the wall level, and there are currently 15 different levels of walls that you can have.
Higher-level walls offer more durability and additional defensive options for your village.
Since walls cost money, it’s possible to use in-app purchasing to upgrade the walls.
I’ll explain how this works next, but the general idea is that you can pay real USD to upgrade your walls in the game.
How Does In-App Purchasing in Clash of Clans Work?
Clash of Clans is free to download and play, but you can make purchases within the app.
This is typical for many mobile games, and the Clash of Clans system works a lot like many other games in the ecosystem.
I’ll get into some of the technical economic aspects in a later section.
For now, I want to take you through the process of in-app purchasing.
With Clash of Clans, there is a resource known as Gems.
You can use Gems to do a lot of things in the game, including building or leveling your walls, so they offer direct impacts on how you play the game.
The thing is, Gems cost real dollars.
When you have Clash of Clans open, there is a shop where you can buy a lot of different things.
One of the purchases available is Gems.
When you try to buy Gems, the app will require credit card information, and it will take you through a real-world transaction process.
This process is like any other online purchase.
It will verify your financial information, show you the purchase you are making, and allow you to review the purchase before finalizing.
If you do finalize the purchase, then you will receive in-game Gems for the cost of your real money.
Clash of Clans is available in many countries, but I’ll use USD as an example.
You can purchase 80 Gems for $0.99 or 1,200 Gems for $9.99.
You can then spend those Gems on things in the game as you see fit.
Why Are Clash of Clans Walls So Expensive? (4 Reasons)
That covers the background knowledge that you need to know about Clash of Clans and walls.
Walls are a powerful tool you can use to defend your village, and you can effectively pay for them with real-world money.
Considering all of that, we can get into why they are priced the way they are.
Before that, I need to give you a disclaimer.
Clash of Clans and the development team have not put out an official statement on how and why walls are priced the way they are.
I can take you through some common reasoning, and it will all make sense, but there is a little bit of speculation mixed in.
I can’t perfectly outline the mentality of the developers.
That said, I can walk you through the basic business model, and when I do, most doubt will fall away.
It’s pretty self-evident as to why walls are expensive.
#1 Business Model
Finally, we can really get into the economics of Clash of Clans.
Like I said before, the game is free to download and play.
You don’t ever have to spend any amount of real money to play the game.
Any money you do spend is 100% optional on your part.
Instead of requiring a purchase just to download the app, Clash of Clans follows what is commonly referred to as a “freemium” model.
The game is free, but there is premium content within the game that will cost real money.
This type of business model is extremely popular, especially for modern mobile games.
Because the game is free, it’s easy to build up a large user base.
And, because there is no single purchase that gives access to the game, there’s no reason for players who spend money to ever stop spending money.
The fact is that your walls in the game can be destroyed.
So, if you’re using cash to replace them, then it’s an endless purchase cycle that maintains profits.
If Clash of Clans followed older models where you buy the game and then that’s it, then profits would fall off as the game stopped finding new users.
As it is, Clash of Clans can bring in more than $1 billion every year, and it’s because of this model.
The game is free, but if you get really competitive about it, you will be tempted to start paying cash for a stronger village, and buying walls factors into that.
Walls are expensive specifically to entice you into paying real money to play the game.
#2 In-Game Value
There’s a secondary factor at play here.
Walls aren’t just expensive because you can pay cash for them.
Technically, you can pay cash for any structure or upgrade in the game, and plenty of them are cheaper than walls.
Walls are expensive because of their in-game value.
They’re fundamental for any good defense.
Walls allow you to structure and organize your defense.
Without them, you are significantly more vulnerable.
So, walls cost more because of how effective they are.
There’s another way to think of this.
Walls are expensive because the developers know that they can get away with charging so much.
The price of the wall is intended to reflect its efficacy within the game.
#3 Development Costs
This next part isn’t specific to walls.
Instead, the entire in-app purchasing structure is based on the economics of Clash of Clans.
Basically, the developers had to put money into making the game, and they chose a freemium model to try to recuperate those expenses.
Supercell never released the development cost of this particular game, but based on the industry at large, we can make some estimates.
At a minimum, a game like Clash of Clans usually costs around $400,000 to develop.
We do know that Clash of Clans took about six months to fully develop.
In the world of video games, that’s a pretty short development cycle, so this was not an ultra-expensive game to make.
But, games like Clash of Clans can also cost a few million dollars to make.
The differences depend on the talent in the development team, where it was developed, if they ran into licensing rights, and a few other development factors.
All of this is to say that items in Clash of Clans were originally priced so that the game could profit from its development.
#4 Maintenance Costs
But, development is only one number that matters.
The game also requires maintenance.
In order to play Clash of Clans with other people online, Supercell has to maintain multiplayer servers.
Basically, that’s the hardware that allows everyone to connect and play together.
There are other aspects of maintenance that include updates, advertising, legal fees, and so much more.
Once again, these numbers aren’t perfectly known, but the company, Supercell, needed roughly $148 million in order to function in 2013.
Clash of Clans isn’t the company’s only game, but this is already enough information.
The pricing model is trying to ensure that the company can make a profit beyond the estimated $148 million annual operating cost.