An in-depth look at Candy Crush


After some trepidation I decided to pick up Candy Crush Saga this Summer. My goal was to understand not only its success but also how its business model (the freemium/free2play/microtransaction) was implemented. The result of some serious play sessions was a column for In my column I argue that, from a design perspective, the game’s business model takes precedence over everything else.

Het ware vernuft van Candy Crush zit hem in de totale toewijding van King om spelers „nuttig” te maken.

Download article (.pdf)

My column came to attention of the fine people at NOS. As a result I was interviewed for NOS Radio 1. You can listen to the interview below. Part of the radio bit is a short article.

Download radio interview (.mp3)

In addition I gave an interview for the NOS Journaal and appeared in Het Achtuur Journaal on Wednesday August 7 in a segment on the success of Candy Crush. You can watch the segment here or below.

Later that day a slightly different TV-segment on Candy Crush was aired for late nite news show NOS op 3. Asking: Is the success of Candy Crush sustainable? I truly love this question as it undergirds much of my future research on mobile games. NOS op 3 also had a longer interview with Candy Crush developer Tommy Palm.

And last but not least, the website had an interview with me on the success of mobile games like Candy Crush. I argue: “Candy Crush is geen slecht spel, het zit vernuftig in elkaar en het biedt, blijkbaar, heel veel spelplezier. Er zijn wel heel veel games die andere spelervaringen bieden en die inderdaad iets meer vertellen over onze wereld of die verder gaan dan puzzelen. Ik hoop dat de markt voor mobiele games die vernieuwend zijn, op inhoudelijk of speltechnisch vlak, zal groeien. Het ligt vooral ook aan platformaanbieders (Apple, Google/Samsung, Microsoft) om te blijven vechten voor diversiteit.”

So there you go, all you need to know about Candy Crush (except how to get past level 342…)!

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