When technology evolved, our lives and sources of entertainment grew with it. One of the most popular modes of entertainment today, especially among the younger generation, is the video game, a medium that keeps growing every day. Video games themselves have evolved to fit the times.
From handheld Game Boys and classic arcade titles, gaming has come a long way, and current technology can make you wonder at the amount of human imagination and talent that have gone into its creation. Though there is much to say about the thousands of games and gamers who make up the community, we narrow our focus to a particular title that has, for the past decade, reigned as King in gaming charts.
Candy Crush began as a browser game in 2011 and was launched on the developer’s website, King.com, among hundreds of other games. It wasn’t their first browser game or match-three game, yet Candy Crush, which incorporated the best details from previous trials and older games, was instantly popular.
Of course, at the time the developers didn’t foresee the kind of popularity that the game would later generate. Sebastian Knuttson, one of the co-founders of King and also the developer of Candy Crush stated, “I think the first version of the game was three minutes of great game, but that three minutes didn’t really evolve. It didn’t really have any new mechanics coming in, or any sense of progression.”
Around this time, following the new trend in Facebook gaming, King started to release its games on the social networking platform, and Candy Crush itself made its debut in 2012 with the addition of Saga to its name and new gameplay mechanics that brought in a social layer to the progression. These changes made the game one of the most popular games available on the platform and marked the start of its decade-long legacy as one of the most popular games of all time.
Tales of the Candy Kingdom
Though it might seem simple, the game is not devoid of a story. Events in the game revolve around issues of the Candy Kingdom and its citizens, like the Easter Bunny, Mr Yeti, the Bubblegum Troll, and so on. Two notable characters are Mr Toffee, the game tutorial guide, and Tiffi, AKA Toffette, who solves the problems of the Kingdom with the player's help.
But the narrative doesn’t end there. The game has different areas/expansions that are slowly unlocked as you play, and each carries a story of its own. Along with themed events like sporting competitions, music festivals, and even a masked ball which was the site of a heist, the developers are committed to making the story evolve.
The basic gameplay can be extremely simple at first glance - players match similar candies in a set of three until they clear the level. Sounds easy enough, but according to Knuttson, what makes Candy Crush Saga unique is its deep and complex mechanism. Matching three might sound easy, but as you go higher up, the game demands specific matches and a limited number of moves.
Each level will also have its particular condition, which you must satisfy to achieve a successful clear. Apart from this, the game also introduced special candies that form when you match four or five candies and would, in turn, produce a special and explosive result. The player has to keep in mind the myriad reactions each move could create to clear the level and advance to the next part of the story, which is not a simple feat at all.
And yet, it is not the charming backstory or the seemingly simple yet complex gameplay that attracts the players’ attention. Surprisingly, it is the cute design, catchy music and almost casino-like reward system that keeps players coming back for more. The high a player gets from clearing a difficult level can be addictive and is a risk constantly associated with video games. But such a risk hasn’t posed a problem for the game’s growth over the years, with millions of downloads under its belt and billions of dollars generated from it.
Following the astonishing growth the game has seen, it was inevitable that the developer behind it should have gone through its own set of ordeals and changes. From a browser game developer to a popular name in Facebook gaming, King went on to become one of the giants of mobile game markets. Though Candy Crush Saga was one of the first successful games to follow the free-to-play model, it is still one of the highest-earning mobile games of the last decade.
In 2016, King was acquired by Activision Blizzard, the developers of popular games like World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Diablo. The acquisition, which was hailed as one of the most successful acquisition prices for a European startup according to TechCrunch, was for a whopping $5.9 billion. And now, as of 2022, Microsoft has made public its intent to acquire Activision Blizzard King to expand its gaming empire.
In November 2022, Candy Crush Saga celebrated its 10th anniversary. The game’s first decade saw its rise to the top of the mobile gaming charts, where it has managed to keep its position as one of the highest-earning games in the App store as of November 2022.
According to DigitalInformationWorld.com, Candy Crush Saga has not only taken its place at the top of the list for the U.S. mobile App Store’s highest-earning games chart but has also generated about $1.2 billion in revenue. As of 2022, the game has crossed 300 million downloads, which is not surprising with the game’s loyal community on Reddit and Discord, where players share news of their personal achievements and discuss the latest updates.
If the numbers are to be believed, it seems that Candy Crush Saga with its promise of new expansions and stories will be around for another decade at least.
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