British game company cashes in on ‘Candy Crush’ phenomenon

Smartphone users have found a new addiction in the form of "Candy Crush"
Smartphone users have found a new addiction in the form of “Candy Crush.”

Do you find yourself sneaking off to the bathroom during your workday to feed your candy-matching fix? If so, you aren’t alone. According to Slate.com, approximately 45 million people play the game through Facebook every month, and that number is rapidly growing.

The game itself is involves a match-three format, similar to Bejeweled. However, each level includes a different shaped game board filled with candies of three to six different colors and sometimes obstacles.

Sounds simple enough, but for some reason users just can’t stay away. The game was first released for Facebook in April 2012, and then for smartphones in November. Currently, it’s the most downloaded game application on both Android and Apple devices, and it’s the top-grossing mobile app. Think Gaming is estimating that Candy Crush rakes in nearly $633,000 a day for its British developer King.

A major part of the game’s success has been attributed to its maintenance of continuity across different devices. What does this mean for players? Whether you’re tapping away on Facebook, using your iPhone or playing on your iPad you will never lose your place while playing the game.

Where King is making its money however, is by marketing itself as, freemium application. The concept involves an application giving away its core functions without cost, but allows users to gain upgrades and certain features through payments.

In the case of “Candy Crush,” you can pay 99 cents to buy more turns rather than wait 30 minutes before continuing once your reach a certain level. These types of apps depend on the user feeling like they hit a “hot streak” and coughing up the measly dollar; in many cases most people will.

“If I’m not careful, ["Candy Crush"] can suck up a half hour or an hour real quick,” avid player Bill Byler told CNN. “I have to put the phone down and read a book or something.”

Never has candy been so good at crushing its competition.

Follow Courtney M. Fowler on Twitter: @Court_Nation



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