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Candy Crush Saga–where free does mean free

By on August 7, 2013

Candy Crush Saga is one of the most successful free-to-play games on the market at the moment. We hear different numbers for how much money it is making, but a run-rate of over $200 million a year looks reasonable.

But is it truly free? To many people, Candy Crash Saga is one of those evil freemium games where the difficulty level ratchets in ways carefully calculated to separate you from your money.

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That may be true, but it is not the case that the most successful players have all spent lots of money. At the Games Monetisation Europe Conference earlier this year, Tommy Palm of King stated that 70% of players who had finished Candy Crush Saga had never spent a cent with King.

Seventy per cent. When I ask delegates to my masterclasses what percentage of people had finished Candy Crush Saga – over 300 levels – without paying a cent, most of them say none. Yet the actual answer is significantly more than half.

I was surprised by that statistic. It means that King is following one of the Design Rules for F2P Games (#7: Make your game free forever).

And it means that you *can* finish Candy Crush, over 350 levels of it, without spending a cent. Which I was not sure that I would have guessed before Tommy confirmed it.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • candy roberts

    while King admits 30% of the players spend money for in app purchases, i would say the answer to the question “is candy crush free” is a sound NO. This is why we at http://www.crushingcandies.com keep posting thousands of words with tips for each level.. to make this 30% close to zero! Doubt if we will ever succeed that, while many of the frustrated crushers don’t even take the time to read our tips! :/

  • Radu

    >finished Candy Crush Saga – over 300 levels – with paying a cent

    I think you mean “without paying a cent”

  • Juan Carlos

    I don’t believe such statistic, especially coming from someone from King. I would vote for a real survey to confirm such rate.

  • Pingback: Candy Crush Not As Unbeatable As You Might Suppose | Zen Of Design

  • http://www.dadako.com hawken

    Where you say “with paying a cent” shouldn’t that be “without”? Bit confusing as to which you mean.

  • http://www.toonkaboom.com/ Toon Kaboom

    Candy Crash Saga its really free ?

  • tytyguyguy

    Yes, its free. but its one of the top earning games of all times and that is by design. They make the levels hard so you buy more special candies, etc. If you want to beat the candy crush levels without buying anything you should check out http://www.candycrushaid.com and get guides on how to beat the levels for free.

  • gameaddict1

    most app games have in game purchases, its way better than advertising within the game…I’m not surprised with the stats to be fair. I’ve only just finished candy crush thanks to http://www.allcandycrush.com/candy-crush-levels/ and didnt cost me a cent!

  • bobmanc

    Maybe not paying a cent but how many had to post on facebook etc to keep playing? I would be interested in finding out how many finished using no money and no sharing. My guess would be close to zero

  • sarika

    don’t pay for candy crush game its free. some level are hard to play but you dont need to pay for it you can use candy crush cheats and tips here…http://www.candycrush.co.in