There's a good chance you play King.com's Candy Crush Saga or at least know someone who does. Based on the familiar match-three concept, the engaging puzzle game has captured the Facebook and mobile world's collective attention, largely because of well-designed social features and of course, 245 tricky levels. To find out just how big it is, we spoke with King's Tommy Palm.
Candy Crush Saga is huge. How many people have downloaded the game?
We are very happy that it has been discovered by so many fans across the globe. We even have users playing from the South Pole. Candy Crush Saga is currently played by more than 10 million people everyday. We actually just released a neat infographic in January showing that the game was downloaded 10 million times on just mobile platforms in December.
What makes the game so addictive? The match-three idea isn't exactly a new concept. We've seen it for years. Why do players gravitate towards Candy Crush over the competition?
We believe that one of the success factors is that the game is so family friendly and social. Candy Crush Saga was meant for everyone on any platform and that makes it very suitable to play with friends and family. We have seen many examples of social groups that play Candy Crush together instead of other common family activities like watching TV.
What are some basic strategies that players overlook?
One of my recommendations is to really keep in mind that most levels are not timed. Always keep a look out for what could potentially be five in a row and plan for it in advance.
How long do you plan to support the game on the mobile side, and what can we expect from future updates?
We have dedicated a team that continues to work on new levels, updates and tweaks for the game. The game hasn't shown any tendencies to slow down so we will keep adding new content for a long time to come. I believe Candy Crush Saga has reached a high enough point of popularity where it will never stop being enjoyed by many. It's going to be one of the classic games that people are going to continue to have some sort of relationship with.
Bubble Witch Saga used to be our biggest game and now Candy Crush Saga has surpassed it in popularity. Even though we continue to work with both BWS and CCS, we haven't stopped making games. There are some very exciting titles in the pipeline that will be revealed soon. But for now, Candy Crush Saga is one of the world's most popular games. In countries like Hong Kong, it is being played be every seventh person daily, for instance.
Do people buy items through in-app purchase? What sort of data are you willing to share?
As a privately owned company, we don't share much financial data. However, Candy Crush Saga remains in the Top 10 Grossing in most major markets, if that's a helpful indication of the popularity of the game's in-app purchases.
Which is more successful? The Facebook or mobile versions?
We feel that the platforms complement each other extremely well. Our vision is to have players able to access their favorite game on the platform that is most convenient to them. You should be able to pick up your game and continue wherever you are, either on the go or on the big screen at your desk. Personally, I prefer the tablet version of the game that offers the best game experience since I can just lay back in the comfort of my sofa and still enjoy a large screen.
What's next for King.com? Where do you go from here?
We feel that we have found a very good recipe that has generated a massive, great fan base that is hungry for more games of the same caliber as Candy Crush Saga. We are now growing to meet that demand.