The delicious candy play is just too tempting to resist when our brains need a little break from our daily marketing routine. But upon closer look, we realized that good marketing – and good social media marketing, at that – is really everywhere a successful business is. Candy Crush and its developer, King, by extension are no different. If anything a closer examination as to just why people of all ages, nationalities and tech levels are just so completely consumed by this easy game that – let's be honest – looks like another version of the classic Bejeweled reveals this simple fact: Candy Crush saga is a true social media marketing genius. And here's why:
Why We're Still Playing
There are a few reasons first to consider why it is that we are still playing this game so arduously almost a year after it launched in November 2012 when so many other games reach their peak well before that time. Thinkgaming data estimates that there are a cool 8.8 million active users playing Candy Crush everyday bringing in more than an estimate $858,000 in revenue – daily! That is a a lot of money for an app that you can download for free. And what's more? An estimated 77,776 players are installing the game daily. Let's consider five important reasons why Candy Crush is still the number one grossing app.
- In-App Purchases: Candy Crush Saga is considered a “freemium” app because although free to download a player can easily spend small amounts of money quickly to buy boosters or lives to advance through the game. Players are estimated to spend an average of $2.84 a day on in-app purchases!
- Simple Gameplay: Candy Crush, loosely put, is a spawn off the classic Bejeweled. The object of the game is simple enough that anyone can get started and start playing. There aren't tons of rules or features to learn, meaning gameplay is also fast and continuous.
- Forced Breaks: One of the genius rules that the developers did incorporate into Candy Crush is that once you're out of lives, you have to wait for your lives to reload – meaning you have to wait to play. Unlike other hugely popular games with all aforementioned features like Temple Run, for example, players can quickly burn out and get bored after playing for hours. Making players wait means they come back excited and anxious for more.
- Endless Milestones: With almost every new update, King has added hundreds of new levels to Candy Crush so that now there are 500 levels to play, meaning there is always the satisfaction of making it to the next milestone. Again, games like Temple Run have players only beating their own scores – which can get boring and repetitive. Another insanely popular game most will remember, Angry Birds, made players pay for levels after a certain level. Candy Crush offers a happy solution to both game fads.
- Multi-Platform Functionality: Nowadays people want to take everything with them without limitations. Candy Crush allows you to pick up your progress whether you're playing on your phone, computer or tablet – and it's available for iOS and Android users. No restrictions here!
The Social Media Marketing Element
Now here is the kicker that really seems to bring the success of Candy Crush home: the strategic use of social media in its gameplay. It is this one insanely important tool that King integrated all over the place that seems to really have driven up the numbers for downloads, active users and even revenue – and kept them rising for the last year. Let's take a look.
- Facebook Integration: We all love convenience, and King knew that – which is why they allow you to start playing by signing in through Facebook. And once you do, you can see all your friends who are also playing and where they are on the levels map. What's more is that you can check out their scores, so the fun of beating levels becomes more exciting when you start beating your friends.
- Lifesaving Friends: When you've burned out all your lives playing that one level you just can't beat, you can either spend the money buying those lives and boosters (and some people obviously do by the those numbers), wait it out for 30 minutes, or you can have your friends give you an extra life. This requires active involvement from your friends. But if you're depending on them, they're also depending on you and now you've got a well-integrated cycle of dependency that's all tied in by the use of social media.
- Friends in High Places: Probably the smartest feature of all is the fact that at certain points of the game, to reach a new episode, you have to request “tickets” from at least 3 of your Facebook friends to move forward. The dependence on your friends through Facebook keeps social media at the heart of Candy Crush's success.
- Active Social Media Community: Some of the levels in Candy Crush are hard – and King knows that. The addictive play can get a little frustrating when you've been on the same level for months, but luckily there's a community of more than 51.3 million people just on candy crush's Facebook page that are giving each other tips and helping fellow players through the hard times. Disguising clever social media marketing as a forum? Absolutely genius.
Tell us, do you play Candy Crush Saga during your free time? Are you impressed by how clever King was to use social media to skyrocket their success?