How Does Candy Crush Saga Make Money?

Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game developed and published by King, a company specializing in social network-based games. Businessman Riccardo Zacconi co-founded King in 2003 after selling a subscription dating service he had also founded several years previous. The initial source of income for King was advertising revenue, but this strategy was abandoned in 2013. Today, Candy Crush Saga uses the freemium model (free to play) of revenue generation.

In-App PurchasesCandy Crush Saga offers a variety of in-app purchases that players can buy to enhance their gaming experience. These purchases typically include power-ups, boosters, extra lives, and other in-game items that help players progress through levels or overcome challenges. Players can spend real money to acquire virtual currency (such as Gold Bars) that can be used to make these purchases. In-app purchases are a significant source of revenue for the game.
Lives and BoostersThe game operates on a “lives” system, where players have a limited number of lives to attempt a level. When they run out of lives, they must either wait for them to regenerate over time or purchase additional lives using in-game currency or real money. Similarly, players can buy boosters and power-ups to give them advantages in completing difficult levels. These microtransactions provide continuous revenue for the game.
AdvertisementsCandy Crush Saga includes advertisements that players may encounter while playing the game. These ads can take the form of video ads, banners, or interstitials between levels. Players have the option to watch these ads voluntarily to receive rewards, such as extra lives or boosters. Candy Crush Saga earns revenue through ad impressions and user interactions with these advertisements.
Events and ChallengesThe game often hosts limited-time events and challenges with special rewards and prizes. Players can participate in these events and spend money on in-app purchases to gain advantages and increase their chances of winning. These events encourage player engagement and spending.
Virtual Currency BundlesCandy Crush Saga sells bundles of virtual currency, such as Gold Bars, at various price points. These virtual currency bundles offer players a more cost-effective way to purchase in-game items and progress faster. The convenience of buying larger quantities of virtual currency at once can entice players to spend real money.
Challenges and Power-UpsSome levels in the game can be particularly challenging to complete without the use of power-ups or boosters. Players may be tempted to buy additional power-ups and boosters to overcome these difficult levels, especially if they have failed multiple times. This creates opportunities for in-app purchases.
Challenges and CompetitionCandy Crush Saga faces challenges related to competition in the mobile gaming industry, with many similar puzzle games available. Ensuring player retention, creating engaging new levels, and adapting to changes in the gaming landscape are ongoing concerns. Maintaining a balance between encouraging in-app purchases and fair gameplay is also a challenge.
Future Growth StrategiesCandy Crush Saga’s future growth strategies may involve: – Regular Content Updates: Continuously adding new levels, challenges, and events to keep players engaged. – Community Building: Enhancing player interactions and social features within the game. – Cross-Promotion: Promoting other games and products within the King portfolio. – Expanding to New Platforms: Exploring opportunities on emerging gaming platforms.



History of Candy Crush

Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game developed and published by King, a company specializing in social network-based games.

Businessman Riccardo Zacconi co-founded King in 2003 after selling a subscription dating service he had also founded several years previous.

Investment capital was hard to come by in the wake of the dot-com bubble, so Zacconi slept on a friend’s couch for two years while he developed the company.

King – then known as Midasplayer – eventually released over 200 games on Yahoo and AOL where competitors would play against each other for a small entrance fee.

Two years later, the co-founders raised enough money to purchase the domain In 2007, King decided to launch on Facebook after the social media giant opened up to game developers.

King would then test hundreds of games, weeding out the duds and retaining the more promising titles. Chief among which was Bubble Saga, a game based on one or two-minute intervals with the ability for players to track their progress on a map.

The idea for Candy Crush Saga came to Zacconi while he was in the bathtub. “Most of the games before had had jewels, or precious metals, but not things you see in everyday life. And I felt, let’s base it on candy. Something people naturally are attracted to. They look pretty. They’re edible. And it’s something that everybody sees.

In 2012, Candy Crush Saga was launched on Facebook but experienced strong competition from rival Zynga.

The game was then launched on mobile with an important distinction: players could jump seamlessly between their cell phone and desktop without losing their progress.

Ultimately, this cross-platform strategy was vital to the game’s later success.

Activision Blizzard acquired King for $5.9 billion in 2015, giving Zacconi a stake worth approximately $584 million. 

Candy Crush Saga revenue generation

The initial source of income for King was advertising revenue, but this strategy was abandoned in 2013. Today, Candy Crush Saga uses the freemium model of revenue generation.

All aspects of gameplay are available for free, but users can opt to pay to receive help finishing difficult levels.

This is a significant source of income for King, with in-app purchases contributing around $1-3 million per day at their peak.

These figures are particularly impressive when one considers that only around 3% of all users make in-app purchases.

For the consumer, these purchases can be made via iTunes, Google Play, or with a credit card.

Game add-ons are not purchased directly. Instead, the player must buy a predetermined amount of gold bars that can later be exchanged for specific features including extra lives, extra time, extra moves, and daily boosters designed to level up more quickly.

The price of gold bars varies by country, with discounts given for bulk orders. Generally speaking, they can be purchased in lots of 10, 50, 150, 200, 250, 500, or 1000.

Key takeaways:

  • Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game developed by King. It was modeled on similar games featuring jewels or precious metals and became mainstream after being made available on both mobile and desktop.
  • Candy Crush Saga initially relied on advertising revenue, but this was quickly abandoned after a year or so in operation.
  • Candy Crush Saga now makes a significant amount of money from in-app purchases that allow players to enhance their gameplay experience. Features are purchased using predetermined quantities of gold bars.

Key Highlights

  • Origin and Background: Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle video game developed and published by King, a company specializing in social network-based games. Co-founder Riccardo Zacconi started King in 2003 after selling a subscription dating service he had also founded. The company struggled initially, but eventually transitioned to creating games on platforms like Yahoo and AOL, leading to their growth.
  • Game Development: King tested and refined numerous games, with the breakthrough being Bubble Saga, a game with short intervals and player progress tracking. The idea for Candy Crush Saga, inspired by everyday attractions to candy, emerged during a bathtub brainstorming session.
  • Platform Strategy: Candy Crush Saga faced competition upon its Facebook launch in 2012, but it gained momentum when it seamlessly transitioned to mobile. The ability for players to switch between mobile and desktop platforms without losing progress contributed to its later success.
  • Acquisition: Activision Blizzard acquired King for $5.9 billion in 2015, propelling its co-founder, Riccardo Zacconi, into significant wealth.
  • Initial Revenue Model: King’s initial revenue source was advertising, but this approach was abandoned in 2013.
  • Freemium Model: Candy Crush Saga employs the freemium model, offering the core gameplay for free while providing in-app purchases to enhance the player’s experience.
  • In-App Purchases: Players can pay for assistance to overcome challenging levels. In-app purchases became a major source of income for King, contributing millions of dollars per day at the peak. Around 3% of users make these purchases.
  • Gold Bars System: Instead of purchasing game add-ons directly, players buy gold bars, which can be exchanged for specific features like extra lives, time, moves, and boosters. Gold bars are bought in predetermined quantities and are available for purchase via platforms like iTunes, Google Play, and credit cards.
  • Price Variability: The price of gold bars varies by country, with discounts for bulk orders, typically available in set quantities.
  • Monetization Strategy: King’s transition from advertising revenue to the freemium model, leveraging in-app purchases, showcases their adaptation to the evolving gaming industry and players’ preferences.
  • Cross-Platform Success: The ability to seamlessly play across different devices played a crucial role in Candy Crush Saga’s popularity and success.
  • User Engagement: The game’s approach of allowing players to purchase enhancements, while still offering the core gameplay for free, taps into the psychology of user engagement and incremental spending.

Read also: Inside The Epic Games Empire, How Much Money Has Fortnite Made?Gaming IndustryEA Sports Business ModelHow Does Discord Make Money, The Free-To-Play Business Model, The Nintendo Business Model, How Does Unity Work And Make Money, Roblox Business Model.

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