I admit it… I may be an addict.
No, no, not that kind of addiction. I’m talking about my unhealthy addiction to Candy Crush. I finally realized this late last night while I was lying in bed, refusing to go to sleep. Instead, I wanted to use up my remaining two lives to try to pass level 125 (I didn’t succeed, btw)
Most of you will probably know about Candy Crush Saga already – but if not, the concept of the game is simple. Brightly coloured candies are lined up on a grid. You swap positions of adjacent candies to try to line up three, four, or five of the same colour in a row. Once you do that, the candies will disappear. You keep doing that until you clear all the jellies on the grid. Such a simple concept… but oh so addicting.
I have never considered myself a ‘gamer’ but yet here I am, playing Candy Crush almost every day! In a different time, you would have to own a console to play video games and each session would take up considerable time to play. Now a days, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets have made these games accessible to more people. What’s more – ‘casual games’ like Candy Crush can be played any time, any where – on your phone when you’re on the bus, at the end of a Facebook visit or during the ten minutes it takes for the water to boil for your tea.
Candy Crush has over 6,500,000 active players every day from all around the world. Just like many other similar games (Angry Birds, Farmville for example), Candy Crush operates on a ‘freemium’ business model – while the game is initially free to download and play, you are encouraged to make in-game purchases as you advance through the levels. Extra moves and lives can be purchased. Every 25 or so levels, you have to ask your Facebook friends for their help to access more levels. As an option, if you’d rather not ask, you can pay your way through. The ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) / Lifetime Value is estimated to be just $4.02 according to ThinkGaming but with so many loyal players every day – see how money is made?
I’ve never paid to advance through any of the levels – as frustrating as level 125 has been, I really can’t justify the purchase. King has said that as many as 70% of the players at the last level got there without paying. So who are the players that are buying the cheats – are they moms or their children, male or female?
This ‘freemium’ model intrigues me but most of all… I’m impressed by the Candy Crush secret formula!