How Candy Crush Saga Earns Millions


What do you know about Candy Crush Saga? Not much, probably. You may have played it a few times, you may have not even heard of it, but one thing’s for sure: it is a huge deal. It has made billions for the King game company and although its popularity has dropped, it still remains as one of the top grossing games in general. So how was this game made? How did it make all that money? What can we learn from this game to help us with our own projects? Let’s find out!

The Game

Candy Crush Saga is a Facebook-based match-three puzzle video game. It was released as a web browser game in November 2012, and on mobile platforms (iOS devices, Android devices and Windows Phone devices) in December 2013. The game is free to play, with optional in-app purchases available.

To begin each level of Candy Crush Saga the player must swipe candies horizontally or vertically to swap them until they find matches of three or more candies. When this happens the matched candies disappear along with any other candies above or below them that are part of the same set of three or more matching types. Matched candies can also be swapped out for others that are touching horizontally or vertically either side of them by swiping left or right on a candy’s face.

The Business

Candy Crush Saga is a free-to-play game (F2P). Players are able to download the game and play it for free, but they can also purchase extra lives or power ups if they want to continue playing without having to wait for their lives to refresh.

As we mentioned earlier in the guide, Candy Crush Saga has over 1 billion players worldwide and it’s one of the most popular mobile games ever made. That said, did you know that King Digital Entertainment earns more than $1 million per day from its top mobile game alone? The company has done very well for itself by creating fun games people want to play again and again!

The Money

The game is free to play, but the company makes money from in-app purchases. Currently, they have a $5 billion valuation.

In order to keep up with the high demand for their games and continue creating new ones, King has been expanding their offices around the world. This can be seen by looking at their job postings on their website which shows openings for positions in countries like Poland and Brazil.

Where is it Going?

The money you spend on Candy Crush Saga doesn’t necessarily go to King, the developer of the game. The majority of your money goes to the game’s publisher and distributor.

The publisher is responsible for acquiring licenses from intellectual property rights owners and then selling these licenses or distributing them through their own channels, such as mobile app stores. When you make a purchase in Candy Crush Saga, it usually goes directly to this entity rather than King itself.

That money doesn’t really come from where you’d expect.

You would think that the money for Candy Crush Saga comes from players who buy lives and boosters, but you’d be wrong. In fact, less than five percent of all Candy Crush Saga players spend money in-game. In fact, they almost never do it. The majority of their revenue is generated through advertising and licensing deals with other companies to use their brand names in promotions like this one:

But why are advertisers willing to pay millions of dollars for the right to put their brands in the game?


Looking at Candy Crush Saga, it’s clear that their success stems from a number of factors. First, they’re a free-to-play game with pay-to-win options. Second, the mobile app market is huge and expanding. Third, the company has been able to create a lot of hype around their games and keep player interest high. Fourth, they’ve created an entire ecosystem for players that includes social media engagement as well as other forms of marketing such as television ads or in-game rewards like keys (which can be bought with real money). Finally, by partnering up with popular brands like Facebook and Google+ for login purposes or making cross promotional deals to advertise on other games’ loading screens (e.g., Subway Surfers), King is able to attract new customers while retaining its current ones.”

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