King.com, the casual social games maker, today is announcing a couple of milestones in its growth: the company’s Candy Crush Saga is now the number-one overall app on Facebook, on the back of 9 billion monthly gameplays across all of King.com’s titles — news that it has released at the same time that it has announced that Candy Crush Saga and another hit game, Bubble Witch Saga, would be going Japan and Korea with localized versions for iOS, Android, web and Facebook.
Asia is an important market for casual social games — and thus for King.com. The company says that it has already seen some 1 million daily active players of Candy Crush Saga in Hong Kong, which is equivalent to one-seventh of its population.
The stats on Candy Crush Saga leading the rest of the pack come from AppData statistics, which count usage based on Facebook log-ins.
Alex Dale, CMO for King.com, notes that Facebook-logins are used by many of those who play the the company’s games, but he would not spell out just how many that meant. Still, that King.com holds up Appdata’s numbers as a measure of how well it is doing indicates that it’s a representative enough sample. (The same could not be said in all cases, for example in a recent study of Instagram usage using data from Appdata.)
According to Appdata’s numbers, Candy Crush Saga is now number-one both in terms of daily active users and monthly active users. In DAUs, the game has 15.6 million users, coming some 1.4 million users ahead of the number-two app, Microsoft Live. In MAUs, it’s number-one with 43.5 million users, with Zynga’s in second at 38.4 million.
To put this into context, King.com has seen very rapid growth. Candy Crush Saga only launched an iOS edition in November 2012. It only entered Facebook’s top 10, with 1 billion gameplays per month, in October 2011.
In the wider scheme of things, however, King.com is still lacking the range of games that Zynga has to win on overall volumes. Zynga still tops the developer leaderboard with 259 million users for estimated MAUs, with King.com at number two with 99 million.
King.com’s approach, as has been the case with other developers of casual games, has been to develop socially focused games with “hundreds” of levels that users can access across different platforms with the experience remaining continuous throughout — so completing level 23 of Bubble Witch Saga, for example, on your iPhone, you can continue to play 24 on your work computer (firewall and micro-managing boss permitting).
“It is one of the key drivers behind the growth of our games,” Dale said earlier. “The players who do this are extremely engaged in the game playing on many different devices. We believe the level of synchronization we offer is unique.”
With some 250 million games now on the Facebook platform, this has made the social network into a formidable games platform, so it doesn’t look like King.com will look for ways of moving away from that as its focus any time soon. Dale also notes that it has a “fantastic mobile discovery mechanic,” with those who play Facebook games on desktop getting automatic offers to download their mobile versions through Facebook when the social network gets accessed on mobile.
We will have to see if King.com can weather the bigger issue around the fact that while casual social games as a category remain perennially popular, the same cannot be said for individual games.
Dale notes that King.com remains committed to trying out new games for more expansion of the catalog, although he wouldn’t comment on whether King.com would consider expansion in terms of platforms, beyond the four it covers today, except to note that audience size and base are two important factors.
Windows and BlackBerry are two obvious native mobile omissions at the moment, although King.com is certainly not the only developer to have passed those over for now.
King.com Expands its Global Footprint with Local Game Releases in Asia
King.com’s Candy Crush Saga topples Windows Live Messenger for the coveted #1 most popular overall Facebook application by daily and monthly active user
San Francisco, CA & London, UK – February 21, 2013 – King.com, the leading casual social games company, today announces that it will be offering two of its most popular Facebook games, Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga, in both the Japanese and Korean markets – localising the versions for each region. Mobile iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) and Google Play (Android) versions of both localised games will be following shortly.
The company also announced that it has nearly doubled its monthly gameplays in less than a month, now seeing over 9 billion gameplays a month. Additionally, Candy Crush Saga has taken over as the largest application on Facebook amongst all categories – leading over Windows Live Messenger, Spotify, Yahoo! and others by daily and monthly active user according to AppData.
Separately, King.com announced that in Hong Kong more than 1 million daily players are already enjoying Candy Crush Saga even prior to the launch of the localized version – almost 1/7th of the entire population.
“We have been looking towards Asian markets for some time now and feel this is the perfect time to offer localized versions of our games in Japan and Korea,” said Riccardo Zacconi, co-founder and CEO of King.com. “We are delighted to see our hit game Candy Crush Saga being played by one out of every seven residents of Hong Kong. People have been literally asking strangers on the street to friend them and give them lives so they can continue playing the game without waiting.”
King.com is a worldwide leader in casual social games with more than 9 billion games played per month globally. King.com offers over 150 exclusive games in 12 languages through its premier destination, King.com (www.king.com), mobile devices (iOS and Android), Google Play, and Facebook, where it is a top 10 Facebook developer. The company is the exclusive provider of online games for leading global portals, websites and media companies. King.com has offices in London, Stockholm, Barcelona, Bucharest, Hamburg, Malta, Malmo and San Francisco. For more information, visit http://about.king.com.