The rising star amongst Facebook developers King.com today announces the launch of its first match-3 game on Facebook, Candy Crush Saga. The game becomes King.com’s sixth Saga game on Facebook. King.com selected the launch date carefully: Just yesterday King.com surpassed EA (and POPCAP) in terms of daily active users and took over rank three in the top developer charts. The company also announced that it has gone from 300 million games played a month to over 2.5 billion a month now in less than one year.
“We have had great success with Bubble Witch Saga on Facebook and we are looking forward to moving further up the charts with the addition of Candy Crush Saga,” said Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King.com. Indeed, King.com moved from nowhere into the Top 3 social game developers within one year with Bubble Witch Saga being the most successful game in the portfolio.
Candy Crush Saga is a candy-themed match-3 switcher game. The game launches on Facebook with 65 levels and provides several modes for gamers to test their skills against time, limited moves, collecting objects and removing jellies. The objective is to help Mr. Toffee and his daughter, Tiffi Toffee, travel the world to meet characters like the Yeti and Loch Ness Monster. Collecting objects is also part of the game. The game feels very much like a relaxed version of wooga’s Diamond Dash with the typical trails element to advance through levels. The gameplay is very relaxing, especially if you chose limited moves instead of limited time.
King.com continues its path of developing very casual social games with puzzle elements. CMO Alex Dale tells us that the company will continue doing so as there is a “clear trend back to casual social games” and that the RPG hype on Facebook was rather a short lived trend.
Dale is very bullish about Candy Crush Saga and expects it to perform “as strong as Bubble Witch Saga”. The game is targeted towards a very similar audience as Bubble Witch Saga, mostly women 35+, and showed a better retention than Bubble Witch Saga in the testing phase.
As a reminder: King.com is basically operating as three separate gaming companies. The Facebook game versions, the skill games versions online, and the mobile game versions all have a very different gaming experience. In the online skill game versions of the games users can participate in real cash tournaments which are legally not an option on Facebook at the moment. Browser-based skill gaming can still be considered as part of King.com’s Facebook Saga revenue stream because users can be directed outside Facebook to spend real money by playing the online version of their game. A unique approach so far on Facebook.