Candy Crush, one of the most popular puzzle games to date, was launched as an app on mobile devices almost a year back, and since then the game has been played 151 billion times. The popular game is also the first to capture the top spot on iOS, Android and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and that too at the same time. According to King, developer of the game, 1 in every 23 Facebook users plays the game.
In a survey of 1,000 players conducted by Ask Your Target Market it was found that 32% of the players ignore friends or family to play the game, 28% play the game during the work hours, 10% get into arguments over the duration they play the game while 30% said they were “addicted.”
What makes the game so addictive?
A report from business.time.com asked the same question to Tommy Palm, one of the game’s designers, as well as a few psychology experts.
The most essential factor that makes the Candy Crush addictive is “its ability to make you long for it,” says the report. A player after using all five chances has to wait 30-minute increments to resume play. For users who are not so patient, they can get back in the game by paying a certain amount. These users are the ones contributing to the revenue of the company.
According to designer Palm, this ‘make wait’ attribute “makes the game more fun long term,” and further said “It’s much better from an entertainment point of view to create a more balanced experience where you have natural breaks.”
Positive reward, multitasking add more to fun
At the end of the game words appear on the screen along with a voice saying “Sweet” or “Delicious.” Such feedback, according to experts is essential for keeping the players interested. Dr. Kimberly Young, who treats those addicted to the cyberworld say “positive rewards” are the primary reason that makes players addicted to the game, and adds that after playing the game user feel better for himself/herself.
Palm believes that the game has been designed in such a way that players can multitask while playing the game. Players can carry a drink, cling to a subway pole or hide the phone under a table while playing the game, which comes in very handy during a train ride or during boring meetings. Another advantage that Candy Crush has is that it can be played offline, as well.
Regular updates make Candy Crush more appealing
The Candy Crush team regularly updates the game every two weeks by adding more levels. Candy Crush, which has 544 levels, “has raised the bar with how much content a mobile game should and will have,” according to King. Apart from adding levels, the developer ensures that a player does not get stuck on any one level. If, by chance, a player runs out of options the board immediately resets. Dr. Dinah Miller, a psychiatrist involved in writing of addicting elements of other popular game, says “I believe this is part of the reinforcing pattern which keeps you playing.”
King has been very agile in updating the game at regular intervals, which makes the game much better than other casual games available. For instance, when players expressed their frustration on the level 65, which was one of the hardest levels, King updated the level many times to make it relatively easier.