Socialgamesobserver

The Latest News on the Social Games Market in Europe and Emerging Markets

27Jun/13

King Partnership with Happy Socks Lets Candy Crush Saga Fans Put Their Best Foot Forward

By Mo Moubarak

King announces first-ever licensing deal for its wildly popular mobile and social game, Candy Crush Saga

King, the world’s leading cross-platform, bite-sized games company, today announces it has signed its first-ever licensing and merchandizing agreement with premium sock designer, Happy Socks.

As part of this global deal Happy Socks and King have co-designed two stylish pairs of socks, both inspired by King’s hugely popular game Candy Crush Saga. One style is based on the chocolaty Color Bomb and the other a Striped Candy, the power-up players get by combining four in a row. Available for consumers to pre-order exclusively on the Happy Socks website (www.happysocks.com/candycrush) immediately at a cost of $12 (€8), these custom Candy Crush Saga socks will come in universal sizes for both men and women.

“Candy Crush Saga has become nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon –a game that people can play and enjoy anywhere, any time. With that in mind, it’s only fitting that the first licensing deal is with Happy Socks, giving all those who love the game the chance to revel in the fun of Candy Crush Saga, literally right down to their toes.” said Riccardo Zacconi, King’s CEO and co-founder.

“We are very excited to work with the creators behind the spectacularly popular game Candy Crush Saga to design these custom, high quality socks. The socks will be exclusively designed, not simply branded, and will reflect the quality both King and Happy Socks are known for delivering,” said Mikael Söderlindh CEO of Happy Socks.

Candy Crush Saga is the most popular overall application on Facebook with over 15 million daily players and one of the most popular titles on mobile (across Android and iOS) in many major markets, seeing over 600 million gameplays a day on mobile alone. To play the game now in anticipation of your new socks arriving, please visit http://www.candycrushsaga.com/

16May/13

King Builds on the Success of Candy Crush Saga Unleashing its Top 10 Facebook Game, Pet Rescue Saga, on Mobile this Summer

By Camilla Noon

King announces it now has more than 70 million daily players across all platforms and three top 10 Facebook games

King, the world’s leading cross-platform, bite-sized games company, today announces that it is releasing its popular, top 10 Facebook game, Pet Rescue Saga, on mobile early this summer. The game, which is the third largest overall game on Facebook with more than 6 million daily players (DAU), will be available on iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) and on Google Play for Android devices. Pet Rescue Saga becomes King’s third Saga game to be released on mobile and will further position the company as a leader in mobile games alongside their hit mobile title, Candy Crush Saga, which is one of the most popular titles across Android and iOS in many major markets seeing over 500 million gameplays a day on mobile alone.

Social Games Observer spoke to King’s US VP of Business Development, Jong Woo, who told us that the company has more than 70 million daily players and 130 million monthly players across all platforms. This surpasses Zynga’s 52 million daily players. The company currently has three top 10 Facebook games with Candy Crush Saga (15.5M DAU), Pet Rescue Saga (6M DAU) and Farm Heroes Saga (4.8M DAU). King’s games have taken the number one application and game slot on Facebook and top grossing app positions on iOS and Android, clocking over 21 billion gameplays per month across mobile, social and online. Of the different platforms, Woo told us that both iOS and Android see similar levels of engagement and retention although with monetization, the iOS seems to monetize better than Android.

“We are completely humbled to have three of our games among the top 10 on Facebook and seeing that our games are attracting over 70 million daily players and 21 billion gameplays a month across all platforms,” said Riccardo Zacconi, CEO and co-founder of King. “Pet Rescue Saga’s fun puzzle challenges have proven to be extremely popular since its release in October. The game quickly became one of the most prevalent games on Facebook and is one we are confident will translate well to mobile.”

Indeed, King’s Candy Crush Saga was a huge hit on both mobile and Facebook. Jong Woo explained that the release of the game on mobile definitely boosted its popularity. Cross platform synchronization means that users can now play anywhere and still have their gameplay updated on each platform. Woo also put the success of Candy Crush Saga down to its playability factor – it is a “bitesized” game, meaning you can pick it up at any time and play for one or two minutes from anywhere you are.

Pet Rescue Saga will launch on mobile with over 72 levels, providing a seamless gameplay experience across mobile and Facebook. Players will be able to play the game anywhere, anytime – ensuring their leaderboards, scores and progress are fully synchronized regardless of device.

As King looks towards its future, Woo told Social Games Observer that they would continue to adopt the strategy of first prototyping the games on King.com before moving the games across to Facebook and then to mobile – the same route taken by Pet Rescue Saga.  The future certainly looks bright for King – having overtaken Zynga with the largest number of daily active users and a robust pipeline of games, King looks set to dominate its stance as the largest game developer and leading mobile gaming company out there.

19Mar/13

Who’s Playing What? The Average Social Gamer Around the World

By Camilla Noon

Using metricsmonk, the Facebook and Mobile analytics service, Social Games Observer takes a look at the demographics of the average gamer in four countries around the world

The average Facebook social gamer falls into the category of female and aged between 19 and 25.  The most popular game around the world played by this “average user” segment is Candy Crush Saga.   When filtering down to the average player in a handful of countries, the demographics are not always the same.  Let’s take a look at the average player in various countries and the top games they are playing.

Social gaming is traditionally thought to be played by a majority of female users and whilst the vast majority of our study finds this to be true, some countries show a male-dominated demographic.

In the United States, we see that the average gamer is female but falls into the +46 category which is surprisingly older than the global average. Female gamers aged +46 see their most popular game as FarmVille 2 – with almost 5M monthly active users (MAU).

Chart Showing The Age Distribution in the United States

A look southwards towards Brazil, the country emerging as a new big social gaming fan sees their average user fit the global average user criteria – female, 19-25. This demographic also shows the top game as Candy Crush Saga with over 430.000 MAU in Brazil.

A look across to Asia shows that the average user in Indonesia breaks the mold.  Here, the average is male and aged between 19 and 25.  This average user here also steers away from the usual classic social genre, instead going for the social gambling genre, with 2.2M MAU favoring Texas HoldEm Poker.

Pie Chart Showing Gender Distribution in Indonesia

A look lastly at Europe shows on average a slightly older demographic of social gamers.  Many countries show the average user also to be female, but between the ages of 26 and 35.  A look at Germany shows that the gender spread to be fairly even, with female gamers just edging on the majority. The most popular game is FarmVille 2.

21Feb/13

King.com Expands its Global Footprint with Local Game Releases in Asia

By Camilla Noon

King.com’s Candy Crush Saga topples Windows Live Messenger for the coveted #1 most popular overall Facebook application by daily active user

King.com today announces that it will be offering two of its most popular Facebook games, Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga, in both the Japanese and Korean markets – localizing the versions for each region. Social Games Observer spoke to King.com who told us that although the non-localized versions were already seeing great traction in these regions, the company felt a localized version would open the game to a wider audience.  Mobile iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) and Google Play (Android) versions of both localized games will also be following shortly.

The company also announced that it has nearly doubled its monthly gameplays in less than a month, now seeing over 9 billion gameplays each month coming from both Facebook and mobile platforms. As well as Candy Crush Saga being the biggest game in both MAU and DAU on Facebook, King.com informed us that the game has also attracted a large audience of over 55M daily active users across iOS and Android devices. Additionally, Candy Crush Saga has taken over as the largest application on Facebook amongst all categories – leading over Windows Live Messenger, Spotify, Yahoo! and others by daily active users.

Bubble Witch Saga - Screenshot from Japanese Localized Version

Separately, King.com announced that in Hong Kong more than 1 million daily players are already enjoying Candy Crush Saga even prior to the launch of the localized version – almost 1/7th of the entire population have been playing the game primarily on mobile devices.

King.com told us of their dedication to localizing social games and are looking at a broad range of opportunities in Asia to reach a wider range of users, initially focusing on these two markets of Japan and Korea. “We have been looking towards Asian markets for some time now and feel this is the perfect time to offer localized versions of our games in Japan and Korea,” said Riccardo Zacconi, co-founder and CEO of King.com. “We are delighted to see our hit game Candy Crush Saga being played by one out of every seven residents of Hong Kong. People have been literally asking strangers on the street to friend them and give them lives so they can continue playing the game without waiting.”

17Jan/13

King.com: Candy Crush Saga Crowned Top Game on Facebook

By Camilla Noon

King.com has moved to the top of the charts with its hit Candy Crush Saga taking the title of the most popular game on Facebook and attracting more than 9.7 million daily active users.  King.com also announced that it has generated over 5 billion monthly game plays across all platforms and an audience of more than 50 million across its network.

King.com also now has three games among Facebook’s top 10 game apps.  Pet Rescue Saga (with 3.2M daily players) has just joined Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga (3.6M daily players) near the top of the leaderboard. Bubble Witch Saga, launched in September 2011, has been a resident of the top 10 throughout 2012, demonstrating the enduring popularity of the casual social category. Since Bubble Witch Saga was released on mobile in July 2012, the number of daily active players on the King.com network has grown from 10 million to more than 19 million.

“The transition to mobile and making the playability both seamless and synchronized across multiple platforms has generated immediate interest from casual games players. We’ve seen tremendous growth across both social and mobile games charts,” said Riccardo Zacconi, co-founder and CEO of King.com.

Social Games Observer spoke to Chief Marketing Officer of King.com, Alex Dale, who reiterated the importance of Facebook as both a games platform and as a facilitator for mobile app discovery.  He pointed out that over half of Facebook traffic comes from mobile devices and a good Facebook audience translates, therefore, to a good mobile audience.

Launched in April 2012, Candy Crush Saga continues to attract millions of new players thanks to its popularity on smartphones and tablets. Currently, the game is played over 55 million times a day across both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices) mobile platforms. Candy Crush Saga is a “match 3″ game in which players move sweets in order to make a line of three or more of the same color. The popularity of the game on Facebook has translated well into the mobile environment because the game offers deep synchronization across different platforms, allowing players to progress from level to level on the device of their choice.

“In less than 18 months King.com has become the second largest game developer on the Facebook Platform with 70 million monthly active users,” said Julien Codorniou, head of European gaming partnerships at Facebook.  ”Only a few technology companies in the world have reached so many people so quickly.”

12Apr/12

King.com Launches Match-3 Game Candy Crush Saga and Becomes Third Largest Developer on Facebook

By Sebastian Sujka

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.