Candy crush saga cheats - Emily, a 30-year-old economist, became so addicted to Candy Crush Saga, a free iPhone game, that she would lie awake at 1am imagining her finger swiping across the screen to line up rows of brightly coloured lollies.
Three in a row would deliver a satisfying squelch as they burst and moved the Melbourne mother-of-two closer to the next level.
Candy Crush Saga is a simple game but the hold it has over its devoted followers is complex and incredibly strong. They are reminiscent of gamblers who can’t help but feed another $20 into a poker machine or take one more spin of the roulette wheel.
For Emily, the urge to play Candy Crush Saga was so strong that she would drive to work in the morning and before getting out of the car would squeeze in a few games.
“It had completely taken over my life,” says Emily, who asked that her real name not be used. “It was taking my mental energy and interrupting my ability to go to sleep.
“I would be playing instead of interacting with my children.”
However, her low point was yet to come. Walking along, with her phone out in front, fingers swiping and her gaze fixated on the screen, Emily fell down a flight of stairs. A bruised hip and smashed iPhone screen later, she went cold turkey and deleted Candy Crush Saga from her phone.
“I was pretty horrified,” she says. “I thought, ‘I’ve definitely got a problem.’ ”
Months later, enough time has passed for Emily to see the funny side of her obsession. And there’s some small comfort in her knowing she wasn’t alone in her enslavement to Candy Crush Saga.
Almost 100 million people played it in 2013, a staggering number of players only exceeded by the equally eye-popping $US1.54 billion ($1.65 billion) in revenue the game generated for its developer, King Digital Entertainment.
While Candy Crush is free to download, King makes its revenue from users who buy new lives and extra features.
Still, most of these developers are one hit wonders, which explains the disappointing debuts of such companies as King and Zynga on Nasdaq. Zynga developed the widely popular Facebook game Farmville, where people can pay to tend a virtual farm.
Now developers such as King and Zynga are being challenged by new entrants into social gaming: poker machine game manufacturers, such as Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure and global gaming giant IGT.
TENDING A VIRTUAL FARM
When Aristocrat was founded in 1953 no one would have imagined that 60 years later the company would earn money from Facebook users. But social gaming is proving a natural extension of the pokies business for those companies that have built billion dollar empires by hooking in punters.
As Aristocrat’s head of strategy Craig Billings notes: “At first blush as a society, because it’s so new to us we [are] a bit incredulous that somebody would pay to tend a virtual farm or that they would want to play a pokie without winning a prize. But these games are consistent with the needs and desires of completion, competition and engagement.”
Social gaming is proving a natural extension of the poker machine game business for those companies, who are well familiar with player addiction.
Aristocrat, a $2.7 billion company, does not break down what it earns from this new business of social gaming. It intends to give more detail on that segment when it delivers its full-year results next month. A good indicator, however, of how it might be doing is rival IGT’s performance.
The United States’ International Gaming Technology is the biggest poker machine game manufacturer by market share, and it paid $US500 million for Facebook casino game developer DoubleDown in January 2012. After adding its pokie games into the DoubleDown platform, IGT’s average revenue per user “sky-rocketed” 60 per cent to US40¢, says Citi analyst Michael Goltsman.
Not to be left behind by IGT, Aristocrat bought a rival Facebook casino game maker Product Madness for $10.6 million in late 2012. As with IGT, Aristocrat’s customers now play digital versions of the company’s famous titles on the social network. The players still feed in money like they would to a Queen of the Nile or Big Red machine in their local pub or suburban RSL.
But, crucially, there’s no jackpot on offer on these Facebook “social casino” games.
It was a small investment for Aristocrat to buy Product Madness but potentially a big pay-off when you consider that total revenue in the social casino market hit $US2.8 billion in 2013. Goltsman expects the market to grow to $US4 billion by 2016, at which point he estimates it will account for 24 per cent of IGT’s revenue and 7 per cent for Aristocrat.
“When you look at the demographic of who’s playing social casino games, it’s the same as the core slot-machine gambler,” he says. Pokies are known in the US as slot machines.
“Who has got the best content for that gambler? It’s the poker machine makers.
“It’s a new distribution channel for these companies.” For candy crush saga tutorials and tips click this link.