What is Candy Crush Jelly Saga? It's a match three game made by developer King who has become the pin-up boy of the greasy free-to-play market, but you already knew that. In fact, I'm not even going to go into the gameplay in this article because if you're reading this then you either already play the game or are strictly against it and every other game King brings out. Such is the polarising effect of the Candy Crush name.
A few months after being acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 Billion last November it was being reported that King was in some trouble. In the previous 12 months company profit was down 10% to $517 million with the fourth quarter of 2015 alone also being hit hard with a 36% drop in profits to $91 million. Now that's still a hell of a payday, but it might also be a good indicator of how things are going too.
According to Activision Blizzard's first quarter report, King had 3 of the top 15 top grossing games in the US app stores for the 9th quarter in a row. That is no longer the case with the latest title Jelly Saga dropping to 20th, but monthly unique payers was said to be up. There was a lot of emphasis on the Candy Crush brand in general as opposed to the newest game which again might tell you something. King also now accounts for 23% of the parent company's net revenue.
By The Numbers
All statistics are accurate as of publishing this article.
Google Play Reviews: 700,000 averaging 4 stars.
App Store Reviews: 22,500 averaging 4 stars.
Windows Store: 1,500 averaging 4 stars.
Facebook: 360,000 Likes.
Twitter: 10,000 Followers.
Estimated Daily Revenue: $75,000 (US, iOS).
When released the game had 120 levels which has now grown to 340 as of last month through many updates, each adding 20 levels at a time. Judging by how hard King is pushing Farm Heroes Super Saga through all of their social media and within Candy Crush Jelly Saga itself though, it's safe to say their focus is now elsewhere and we're seeing the tail end of things for this particular title.
While the latest iteration may be on the way out, the effect Candy Crush has had on mainstream culture in undeniable as evident by videos such as this:
So should you play this game? If you're a fan of match three games and go into this one with the mindset that it's really just a money making machine with a difficulty curve built specifically to frustrate players into making in-app purchases, then go ahead. The production value is through the roof because you need to spend money to make money.
Activision Blizzard bought King in November for $5.9 Billion. That gave them access to a huge userbase that they might not have had access to before, but with profits falling and the steady decline in interest it looks like a standard case of diminishing returns.
They are gonna squeeze this for everything it's got until there's nothing left.