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Lessons Candy Crush Saga Teaches Game Developers

How to design a game that earns $633,000 every day.


A very well-liked free mobile game is Candy Crush Saga, if you haven’t tried it yet. It’s a straightforward match-3 game with a candy theme that King introduced in 2012 and is still quite popular today. The game continues to rank among the best free games available on Google Play (at the time this article was written).

Riccardo Zacconi is the CEO of King (King Digital Entertainment plc), a company that creates social games. King was established in 2003 and first produced games for web browsers. King began creating Facebook social network games in 2009, with the first one debuting in 2010. They eventually entered the mobile game market, which contributed to Candy Crush Saga’s enormous popularity. In order to commemorate reaching 1 trillion games played, Candy Crush Saga released its 2,000th level in September 2016. By 2014, the game had sold $1.33 billion in app purchases.


Gameplay in Candy Crush Saga is renowned for being straightforward. In order to acquire three or more of the same sweets in a row in this match-three puzzle game, you must switch candy by swiping them on the screen. A special candy with beneficial properties can be produced by connecting more than three of the same candies.

The game’s hazy narrative states that the player must solve riddles in order for Tiffi (Toffette) to assist Candy Kingdom. The player’s manual, Mr. Toffee, offers advice at the beginning of the game.

There are presently 175 episodes and 2615 levels. Types of Levels

Moves: Make as many moves as possible to attain a certain minimum point level.
Eliminate all of the jelly.
Ingredients: Arrange them all at the bottom.
Timed: You have limitless movements to score at least the required number of points before the timer expires.
Crush the necessary number of candies from the candy order.
A hybrid objective using two or more of the aforementioned stage categories is known as “mixed mode.”


Candy Crush Saga serves as an example of how the Freemium model may be effective when used properly. The 2.3% of gamers who pay for in-game purchases help the game make money through microtransactions. The game was making $633,000 per day at its height!

Reaching a Wide Audience

For a die-hard gamer like yourself, your proposal for a medieval 3D MMORPG is more complicated and fascinating, but guess what? There are more non-gamers than gamers in the world. And those individuals are always on the lookout for small diversionary activities. Candy Crush is a favorite among commuters, elevator passengers, and toilet users. I am aware that a match-three puzzle game is something you may play with your toddler to help teach them how to count, but it is popular because of how simple it is. Simple, simple, accessible, and free(mium) are universally applicable.

Bite-Sized Achievement

Everyone seeks to sense advancement. The success of Candy Crush can be attributed to the player’s ability to finish each level in a reasonable amount of time. You should include several mini-milestones in your games to create a sense of success, for the same reason that we compose articles in paragraphs. I’m not sure if this is the real reason we write in paragraphs, but it seems natural. Each level only takes a few minutes to finish, so it can be done during a commute, dull meeting, bathroom break, or right before bed.

Easy controls

Using a mobile touch screen can be challenging and irritating. It won’t work to simply replicate a console gaming controller’s controls onto a mobile game. When creating their mobile games, independent game creators must be intelligent and keep the user interface simple. King has done a fantastic job of making Candy Crush Saga as simple to play as possible, much like Super Mario Run. The game’s portrait orientation makes it easy to play with one hand and makes it appealing to casual gamers.


Arouse their desire for more

Candy Crush Saga is made to keep you from playing after you’ve had enough of it. You only have 5 lives if you don’t pay, and you get a new life every 30 minutes. There is also a time constraint before the next section of the board becomes playable once you finish one section of the board. The “oehedonic adaption” explains why this is a useful tactic to apply in your game. The psychology of games has a fantastic article if you’re interested, but the core idea is that restricting our exposure to enjoyable things allows us to enjoy them more and for longer. Candy Crush Saga encourages us to exercise discipline and eventually keeps us going back. Unlike most games, which you will play until you’re bored or sick of them.

designed to be enjoyable

The entire game is intended to be fun. King even uses analytics to detect stages that players get stuck on and adjust or eliminate them to ensure that everyone can continue to play effortlessly. The colors, candy motif, and motivating slogans (Tasty! Delicious! Sweet!)



Candy Crush Saga excels in maximizing the social component of games. inviting friends to purchase additional tickets to keep playing and assessing performance versus pals. This produces a ton of complimentary marketing.

Specified Demographic

Women in the 25–24 age range are the target demographic for Candy Crush Saga. However, its appeal has gone well beyond the group that was initially intended.