Candy Crush Saga, aka Candy Crush, by the developer King, is only a year old, and it’s already been downloaded over 500 million times already. What accounts for this match-3 game’s popularity? What qualities about the game make it so addictive that some people, while playing it, have forgotten to pick up their kids from school?
Candy Crush has fans everywhere, and it’s chatted about on Facebook — where it first began in April 2012 — and Twitter. One out of 23 users of Facebook are avid players of Candy Crush, and 14.5 million tweets have been written about it. That’s enough words to fill four-and-a-half thousand novels.
Compare the half a billion times Candy Crush has been downloaded in a year to billion times another very popular game, Angry Birds, has been downloaded in three years, and you will get some idea of just how popular this game is to its more than 51 million fans worldwide. How many individual games have been played? Over 150 billion — that’s a lot of time spent in making candy. Candy Crush is so mind-blowingly popular that it’s the first game ever to be No. 1 on Facebook, Android, and iOS simultaneously.
According to a survey conducted by Ask Your Target Market to 1,00 avid players of Candy Crush, 32 percent of them would rather play the game than socialize with family and friends. 28 percent played the game while they were at work, on company time. 30 percent of the 1,000 admitted that they were “addicted” to the game.
One of the reasons Candy Crush has so many fans and continues to grow its fan base is that new levels are being developed and added to this freemium game every two weeks. There are now 544 levels to the game, and growing. Tommy Palm, a member of the King team and designer of Candy Crush, also says that sometime over the next few months, there will be “an exciting new twist to the game.”
How can a freemium game like Candy Crush, which costs no money to play, be making its developer, King, rich?
Candy Crush Saga costs nothing to download and play. However, it is making money hand-over-fist for its developer, King. That’s because many people are willing to pay money to play the game that much sooner when they had lost the free lives they’ve been allotted.
After you run through the five chances, or lives, that you have to line up a certain number of candy icons, you can wait until a 30 minute period of time passes and you get the lives back, which costs you not one red cent — or, if you want to play the game sooner, you can pay money to obtain more lives.
Just how much money does Candy Crush make for King a day? According to Think Gaming, a company that deals with gaming analytics, Candy Crush rakes in approximately $875,382 each day. Angry Birds is no slouch, but just earns its developers $6,381 per day.
Though you don’t have to pay to play (according to King 60 percent of the people who play don’t pay money), Candy Crush makes paying money to purchase extra lives quicker very easy. If you’re connected to the app store or Facebook, just by clicking, you can purchase extra lives.
Another reason why people become hooked by Candy Crush is that it provides players with positive reinforcement for playing well and making matches. You match four candies in a row, and Tetris-style, they vanish. More candies rain down from above, more matches are inevitably made, and then you’ll see words appear on your computer or mobile screen that praise how well you did, and you’ll hear a voice that declares how well you did to be “Delicious” or “Sweet.”
With its bright colors, interesting shapes, and candy theme, playing Candy Crush is almost like playing an adult version of the childhood favorite board game, Candy Land. One cool aspect of it is that on the homepage for Candy Crush, you can see the photos of your Facebook friends sitting, as playing pieces, on a Candy Land-style board. You can say whatever level they are stalled out at.
What’s more, as with popular games like Kingdoms of Camelot and Words With Friends, you can play Candy Crush with or against your friends, though you can’t always physically be in the same room with them. This adds an element to Candy Crush of being a socially addictive type of game.
Lining up brightly-colored candies and watching them vanish is a great way to relieve your daily stress, also. The outside world, though, can start to seem to be a distraction that’s keeping you away from doing important things, like…playing more Candy Crush. Are you a fan of Candy Crush? If so, please let me know what you think about this addictive game, below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb