Even though a lot of people make in-app purchases to get past the final level of Candy Crush Saga, the developers claim that 7 out of 10 people who play this game finished it without spending a penny.
People give up too easy on everything nowadays, and the money spent for in-app items when playing mobile games is firm proof of that. Developers could be blamed for making games impossible to finish, but when they claim the opposite, it definitely looks like the fault is with the players. Tommy Palm, King.com’s Games Guru, states that this is the case with Candy Crush Saga, despite the fact that many of the players contested the absurd difficulty of this game, especially in the last level.
Palm defended his company’s position by saying that “70% of the people on the last level haven’t paid anything. It’s designed so you can complete the game. […] We focus internally a lot on the player experience, making sure it’s really fun to play. And we do not differentiate between people who pay and people who don’t: we just see them as players, and optimize in making sure the game is really fun. So far, that’s been a great strategy for us.”
Candy Crush Saga is played on Facebook, iOS and Android devices (smartphones and tablets), more than 700 million times a day. In this context, Le Parisien affirmed that the company makes €470k (approximately $623k) every day, while ThinkGaming estimated $850K. Palm decided not to disclose any information on that matter.
The Games Guru even explained why Candy Crush Saga is so successful: “The theme is very good, everybody can relate to the candy pieces: it’s very positive and makes for very colorful and nice shapes. Then of course there is the accessibility of the entire game: it’s a cross-platform game you can play on computer then continue from your smartphone and you tablet. The game is free to play, of course, and there is the social aspect of seeing how your friends are doing.”
He also went on to explain why Candy Crush Saga fares better than the Bubble Witch Saga, King’s previous game: “Bubble Witch Saga was a huge success on Facebook, and it was also popular on mobile, but not as big as it could be, and part of that was that it plays great on iPads with larger screens, but you kinda had to squint on smartphones. Candy Crush Saga fits really well on smartphones as well as tablets, and I think most of our players really appreciate that you can get these games for your smartphone too.”
King also wants its employees to reflect the mainstream audience of the game. According to the company, 90 percent of the ones playing Candy Crush Saga are 21 or older, with no specific dominant gender. Palm claims that “In the Swedish office we have more women working there than many other IT companies in Sweden, but there’s an industry-wide problem getting enough women. We want as mixed an environment as possible.”
The remainder of the interview, which refers to King’s future strategies, especially in relation to Zynga, is available on The Guardian.