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Candy Crush Essay

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Background
Less than two years from its first release, Candy Crush Saga has become the first game that ranked as No. 1 on iOS, Android and Facebook at the same time. On Facebook alone, the Candy Crash Saga has 150 million active monthly users according to Facebook App Center. Players are so addicted to it that they have left their children stranded at school, abandoned housework and even injured themselves as they try to reach new levels of the game (Docketerman, 2013).

The game was developed by King, a ten-year-old firm from Stockholm with studios in London and three other cities. Formerly known as King.com, this company thrives on developing mobile games for Facebook and mobile device users. King is founded by Apax Partners, Index Ventures and Klaus Hommels. All three of these organizations have provided King with a total of 50 million dollars to date. Since its first release on April 2012, Candy Crush has been installed 500 million times across Facebook, iOS and Android devices as of November 2013 (“Candy Crush Saga”, n.d.). The rules of Candy Crush are simple. Players move a variety of brightly colored sweets around a grid and line up at least three of the same sweet in a row or on a column. Every time a row or column is completed, the line explodes, making way for more sweets to drop in. More details on the game itself can be found in the “Key Success Factors” section.

The mobile game industry is expected to grow at a compounded rate of 6.7%, and the market value is forecasted to reach $86.1 billion by 2016 according to Market researcher Newzoo (2013). One of the key drivers is the growing usage of the mobile devices. According to Gartner (October 2013), mobile phone shipments are projected to grow by 3.7%, with a volume of more than 1.8 billion units. Meanwhile, traditional PCs including desktops and notebooks are forecasted to decline by 11.2% from 2102. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 53.4% in 2013, with shipments reaching 184 million units. If this trend continues, game companies will invest less in PC-based games and more in mobile games. Given the limited development resources of game companies, the supply of mobile gaming would outweigh that of PC- based gaming and influence how PC-based games are designed. As a result, many few big game companies such as Zynga have developed a mobile first strategy.

There are mainly three types of business models for mobile gaming. The first is a “freemium” business model, which involves free apps with in-app purchases. The other two models are paid apps with or without in-app purchases. A Distimo report (Schoger 2013) showed that the freemium model takes the lead in terms of revenue generation. The proportion of in-app purchase games increased from 77% to 92% in the Apple store and from 89% to 98% on Google Play. However, there are noticeable differences across countries. For example, in the App Store, paid apps occupy 4% of the market share in Unites States, while the same indicator is 1% in Japan. The mobile game developers should consider incorporating market-based strategies in order to maximize revenues in each one. Clearly, the in-app purchase games are the main source of revenue in the market, but the strategy with regards to the timing of the purchase is key to the success of Candy Crush. This will also be further discussed in the “Key Success Factors” section.

Although King has been the top rank in the Apple Store and Google Play Store by generating revenues at a rate of 1-3 million dollars per day...

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Keywords

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