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Why is Candy Crush so Successful?

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^ This.

 

A combination of marketing, consumer ignorance (since mobile games like this are targeting a demographic less familiar with consumer friendly monetisation models), luck, and a certain amount of critical mass.

 

...but mostly marketing.

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s there a better description for the genre?

 

I think the official name for this genre is "Match 3".

 

Why is is so successful.  Probably the same reason Bejeweled was.  Bejeweled and Bejeweled Blitz were massive a few years ago with tons and tons of games being played over facebook.  Candy Crush is just Bejeweled with more features.  Better Social integration, more Achievments, more game types and of course In App Purchaes.

 


Marketing

 

I don't actually remember seeing any Candy Crush marketing.

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To just accredit it to marketing is simplifying it a bit too much I think. 

If so, what kind of marketing?

 

Accrediting it to consumer ignorance is a bit condescending... I'm sure even candy crush players are fully capable of deciding if they enjoy doing something or not, and where, when and how they want to do it.

 

You could analyse it from many angles, though I don't think there is much point in going into specific game features.

 

Here's a few random thoughts.

 

It's a good choice of genre for a mass market game, it's proven that many enjoy match-games.

Plus square grids are familiar from popular pen-and-paper games such as sudoku and crosswords.

 

They have identified a large target group, which not many other game makers have targeted, (females between 25 and 45) and they have worked a lot on making the game more attractive to this group.

 

(social integration is a part of that)

 

They have made sure to make the game very replayable, it takes a long time to solve all the puzzles and variations, this means more player time, which means more opportunities of friends getting curious, which help with marketing...

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I don't actually remember seeing any Candy Crush marketing.

 

 

Here in Italy there was also a TV spot. I haven't a device capable of playing CCS, but I know the game! This is marketing ph34r.png

Edited by arka80

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It's successful because people want to be on top in things that they think they are good at, even when they know they're not on top....

 

Basically it goes like this...

Bejeweled comes out...

Bejeweled get's popular...

There is an undisputed top player in Bejeweled...

All players beneath that player have varying levels of whether they can beat that top player...

Bejeweled clone comes out...

Lower ranked players from Bejeweled who recognize they can't reach the top start playing the clone...

The clone becomes popular...

Competitive players start playing the clone

A top player in the clone is set 

 

And the cycle starts again. Also sometimes the top player moves on to set a new top rank in a new game cuz they like to do that, they are looking for new competition, or they are looking for a new challenge...when it's not any of those things the top player may still play just so they can psychologically not believe they were suckered into wasting their money along with other people and another defense strategy is to bring more people in as if more people spent money on the trash then it must hold value, even if you think it is trash you can say, "I was fooled by everyone else saying it was different/good"

 

Not really all that difficult... there are more factors, but that's probably the main thing that happens.

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Buster2000, on 18 Mar 2014 - 12:23 PM, said:

Dan Violet Sagmiller, on 18 Mar 2014 - 11:13 AM, said:

I don't actually remember seeing any Candy Crush marketing.





Here in Italy there was also a TV spot. I haven't a device capable of playing CCS, but I know the game! This is marketing ph34r.png

 

Here in the UK it is also marketed on TV but, the comercials didnt actually come out until after it had been massive and then started to die down.

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Buster2000, on 18 Mar 2014 - 12:23 PM, said:

Dan Violet Sagmiller, on 18 Mar 2014 - 11:13 AM, said:

I don't actually remember seeing any Candy Crush marketing.





Here in Italy there was also a TV spot. I haven't a device capable of playing CCS, but I know the game! This is marketing ph34r.png

 

Here in the UK it is also marketed on TV but, the comercials didnt actually come out until after it had been massive and then started to die down.

 

 

The commercials are likely a result of trying to support their BS attempts at trying to trademark/copyright Candy or Saga depending on what country.

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Here the TV ads were shown regularly way before that "scandal" (and there is nearly no TV shows talking about games so people hearing about it from TV will not know).

I don't really remember the slogan, but it felt as if it was targeted at women who dont play games regularly. That way they probably got people who don't know what else to switch to and stay addicted.

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The game is already addictive and well executed. Points for that.

 

If you combine this with unethical viral marketing methods (unless extremely skilled, players are forced to pay or disturb share to all of their facebook contacts in order to advance) you pretty much find the recipe for short term success(*).

 

(*) Short term here is not measured in time, but rather in the capacity from a company to make its clients to come back and buy again.

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Yes candy crush, is just like many of the other break out hit mobile games they hit a critical mass and that success continues to breed more and more success until every who is likely to play them is playing them.  There is a pretty established curve for technology adoption.

 

DiffusionOfInnovation.png

 

There is also an area known as the chasm between early adopters and early majority which is considered the biggest challenge in product growth. If you can cross the chasm then the adoption sky rockets very quickly.

 

The problem that seems consistent across the facebook and mobile space is maintaining the audience over time, and very few of the companies that produce these hit games have managed to replicate their success. After all does anyone still play Draw Anything?

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I don't know about the marketing of this game and such but I gave it a quick play and... it's ONE OF THE BEST MATCH 3 games I have played so far. You can't notice it at the first glance if you are not playing match 3 but the interface (movement of "diamonds", delay, etc) is incredibly smooth, I can't recall another game such polished in terms of it (they must have spend many, many hours researching and playtesting it). Also the amount of "chains" is nice (no prolonged wait when tons and tons of chains are done giving you "fake satisfaction"). It's also rather original (and note we are talking about match 3 genre, being original here is almost impossibe biggrin.png).

I'm just a bit sad I don't like the graphics and the sweet theme (otherwise I would bookmark and play it more for sure).

 

Of course it does not mean that marketing or whatever else was not the key. But I'm sure they wouldn't have such hit if they didn't make the core things excellent first.

 

 

A note to "clone of Bejeweled". Come on, how long can you play the same diamonds over and over again biggrin.png Any genre needs a healthy amount of clones and successors.

 

Disclaimer: I wrote this from just one play of the game, I can't tell about long term quality.

Edited by Acharis

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Of course it does not mean that marketing or whatever else was not the key. But I'm sure they wouldn't have such hit if they didn't make the core things excellent first.

 

QFT.

You can dislike the theme, you can hate the businessmodel, you can think match3 is a boring genre, but truth is its a rather well made game, specially for its genre and target group.

It's not THAT strange it had success. It's not like its Flappy Bird...

Then of course they were a bit "lucky" to get it above the threshold of massive success.

 


"clone of Bejeweled"

 

Like Bejeweled was the first match3 game ever... :)

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I think main reason for these type games to thrive is them targeting base of "gamer Maslow's pyramid" . While "we" work on games game-literate people play, these games target far below average Joe.

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I spent a short time while on a business Internship looking at the success of Candy crush (and some other social games).

IMO it;s the finer points of the game itself which help make it such a success, or in other words why it is a sucess and some of the other King games are not sucesses.  

 

There is just enough random good luck to give a player the impression that on any good day, all the levels are possible to complete, this is also why it earns so much money in virtual goods. I'm sure some people think "oh I've had bad luck this time, maybe I'll buy a power up" 

 

The graphics have a lot to do with it to and this is where King games have messes up with other titles; Candy crush is actually very minimal: very strong individual shapes and colours means you can use peripheral vision to see the entire grid (unlike match three's with busier graphics) thus the game rewards the same sort of skills people use when solving words erches. In other king games the "units" are either smiling animals or vegtables or something of that description, not vibrant but basic block colours and shapes. 

 

In a more psychological and genetic sense colour differentiation and better panoramic vision is a typically feminine trait (masculine traits are better 3D and spacial awareness, might hint at why guys tend to prefer 3d graphics and sportrs/action games) 

 

Since more women then men play social games, and Candy crush rewards skills which are typically strong in woman, it;s a game which appeals to the larger section of social Gamers. 

 

 

I'm currently working with a friend to make some social games which I believe, have a good shot at being successful, it's slow going but a dream's a dream. 

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Games like Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, etc.. the hyper-success have a combination of excellent design / gfx and also well executed marketing plan to maximize their chances of success. These games usually are not the first game the company has done and through trial and error they learned how to maximize their success with a coordinated marketing strategy. The chances of a breakout success without such strategy imo is very low now. 

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