The big dogs have a new challenger nipping at their heels, namely in the form of King.com, which recently passed Electronic Arts as the third most popular game maker on Facebook. The company's match-3 game Candy Crush Saga, tops the AppData charts as the fastest growing game on the social network in April.
We decided to get in touch with King.com to find out why so many folks seem to be sweet on this game. And instead of getting a response along the lines of, 'Duh, it's a game with delicious candy," King.com Chief Marketing Officer Alex Dale breaks it down in more, er, simplistic terms.
1. The balance between the "puzzle" elements and the "fun" elements of switching.
2. It has very high production values, strong story line and great sound effects.
To translate this into something that sounds a little less business-guy like: 1. Candy Crush Saga is a match-3 game and everyone loves match-3 games. 2. It's a match-3 game featuring shiny pieces of candy 3. The game does a good job at changing up the levels to keep them from getting boring 4. The background music is charming, and the repeated vocalizations of the word 'Sweet' bolster your ego (and maybe make you want to eat real candy while playing).
One of the missing elements from Candy Crush Saga right now is a robust social component. Dale didn't give up any specifics on if that will be part of the game's new additions going forward but did say that they plan to roll out many updates in the future.
"Bubble Witch started with 70 levels and now has over 170 with levels and new components added on an ongoing basis," he says. "We expect the same to happen with Candy Crush Saga."
So there you have it -- the magic formula to creating a killer Facebook game in 2012. It's unlikely that King.com will be able to topple Zynga as the number one Facebook game maker, but they'll at least keep the House that Built FarmVille on its toes.