Candy Crush Saga: Life beyond level 2,000
Smartphone owners' appetite for pixelated confectionery seems to be insatiable: Candy Crush Saga is about to unveil its 2,000th level and there's more to come
Smartphone owners' appetite for pixelated confectionery seems to be insatiable: Candy Crush Saga is about to unveil its 2,000th level and there's more to come.
The match-the-sweets puzzle game launched in 2012.
In app terms, it's ancient. Yet the four-year-old remains one of the top grossing games
on Google Play, the Apple App Store and Facebook.
"We didn't expect it to be such a long-lasting title," admits Sebastian Knutsson, chief creative head of its developer King.
For a time King was prince of the indies, having mastered how to convince sizeable numbers of players to pay for extra moves and other in-game items within its "free" titles.
These days, however, it's a division of Activision Blizzard following a $5.9bn (£4.5bn) takeover.
The US giant splashed out in large part because of the otherwise hard-to-reach audiences that Candy Crush and the other Saga puzzlers offered.
"Our core players are very much women, aged 25-plus," Mr Knutsson says.
"And the people who do pay, spend about $25 [£19.20] a month. That's not a huge number per player, but our revenue comes from a huge number of players."
The 2,000th level is intended to be a tempting treat that attracts back those who had set the game aside.
It features a story inspired by the fears computer systems would fall foul of a "millennium bug" at the end of 1999, and will be available to anyone who has reached level 10.
That's just as well, as King has struggled to replicate its success in genres beyond the match-puzzler and some are concerned about how long their appeal can endure.
"King reported it had 409 million monthly active users at the end of June 2016," notes Jack Kent from the research firm IHS Markit.
"That's its lowest level since 2013 and a drop from a peak of 550 million users in early 2015.
"It still has a huge audience to monetise… but it needs new intellectual property or a revamp of its existing titles to achieve significant growth."