Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 2003
, Published on 17 October 2014
“Hey! I reached xyz level on candy crush”. My proud friend exclaimed. Candy crush saga, a video game where the players match the puzzle has made its way into our daily routine.
If you have not played this game before, you might think ‘what is the buzz around this simple looking game’. I’m sure many of us have got annoyed with the number of candy crush game requests we receive on Facebook. But for the addicts, the game provides more than 500 levels to beat with various difficulty levels and keep going.
Launched in March 2012 on Facebook and on November in the same year as mobile app, Candy crush has taken over the gaming world by a big tide. The IPO by its makers king earlier this year proved this point again, the IPO value was larger than social media giant Twitter. The Q1 2014 results of its developers King shows that the revenues have surpassed that of gaming big daddy Nintendo by earning $641 million with more than two thirds of the profit credited to this puzzle game. The game has literally created madness among the crowd. Candy Crush is one of the most downloaded and hugely popular mobile games. The game is said to earn almost around $600,000 per day for its developers, King.
The game has so many addicted users that according to survey from Thinkgaming.com, the number of active users in US iOS market alone is 7,628,607. The game has been a massive hit among many android users in China and India. The average revenue per user (ARPU) estimate for this app is around $3.5. Hence we see the extent of profits this mobile app is making. It has surely beaten all the records in market.
Exploring the reasons for this immense success of candy crush game, I found the following as most important.
In a free-to-play market, success can be elusive, but King games Guru Tommy Palm believes that they have cracked a formula with its popular game Candy crush saga that works.
Candy Crush can be downloaded and played for free. Its market share for a free game is tremendous. Being free it takes all risk out of the “purchase” process. Also, who doesn’t like free stuff? Being free, it has attracted a large number of iOS and android smart phone users and has been on the top list of downloads for months together. Even though many players never pay at all for it, its makers King manages to get massive income from those players who are willing to pay those small amounts to resume play faster or to clear a difficult level where they have stuck in. And, the payment option has been made so easy; the players can do it by just a click where their accounts are linked with PayPal or other payment gateways.
The strategy that Candy Crush has mastered is free content. Since it can be downloaded and played for free, the audience is expanded to anybody. It’s true that not everyone would like to pay for expensive boosters during the game, but that should not a problem. There will always be something that you can cater to an average player as well as a big whale.
We see that each and every aspect of Candy Crush game takes full advantage of users who are both unwilling and willing to pay their way to winning.
Any Social game that allows you to establish connection with your friends on a social media channel like Facebook has gone on to be successful. There was huge craze among the users with game like Farmville before. The feature of Facebook integration has been very important in the fortunes of Candy crush. Also, it was first released on Facebook and has gained most from its presence on social media. It has managed to be extremely visible, as I mentioned before almost all Facebook users have heard of this game at least once. It is so prevalent that, it is top of the mind choice when someone needs to have fun and quick game, the Candy Crush saga will be instantly be one of the first things to pop into their mind. On Facebook, your fellow gamers and friends can view your attributes, this competition can be irresistible, and it has become more of a social addiction. The variety it brings with customization options encourages players to add individuality to the video game and hence attracting the new enthusiasts apart from retaining the current addicts.
King, its makers have also been smart enough to take feedback from players and updated the game whenever there was some frustration expressed by players on Facebook about any level in game. Even though candy crush is a single player game, it has grown its network by having options where the player can ask friends for level passes or extra moves which is a classic viral mechanism where these players act as market mavens. Another incentive player is that they see their friends have managed to pass the level and it keeps the player going. I also found that there is a very active community on Facebook where players give each other tips on how to tackle the levels.
It pushes you
First of all, the game is pretty easy until you reach the 35th level or so. It’s easy to get any one started and it does not involve a big rule book or overloaded features. Our minds like things which are easy. The mental intensity is very less. Also, you can play this in one hand. So this can be played even when you are having coffee in one hand or while taking to someone. Another feature of the game is it uses candies, which is fun, quick and looks delicious. It appeals to the human minds. It also acts as stress buster.
One good strategy used by the developers is that Candy crush game makes you wait. This game one of the best example of a game which lets you to go almost close to finishing a stage before you just run out of moves This makes the players anxious and makes them crave for more of it. This genius rule which makes you wait once you’re out of lives, is where the developers have used the skinner’s box psychology very well to keep the players hooked on to this game.
Finally, one thing we need to look out is that the developers keep this momentum on. Many games which have gained popularity overnight have struggled to survive. One classic example is Farmville by Zynga, where the craze has died down over the years. King has to come up with more innovative and interesting levels for the players. Also, have more incentives to go on to the next levels and engage the players. Currently with the highest level being around 650, we won’t be far from the day we hear that Candy crush saga continues to 1000 levels!!!
This article has been authored by Ganashree from XLRI
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