The game, which still sits stubbornly at number-one in the Apple app store, asks users to match sets of colorful candies into groups of three or more in order to clear the board. It’s become so popular that the game’s creator, King, makes about $650,000 a day from users spending money on premium features like unlocking new levels. Though the Mail says women ages 25 to 55 are the game’s “most loyal” demographic, New Zoo reports that about 40 percent of the game’s users are men, so they’re playing it, too.
However, "70% of the people on the last level haven't paid anything. It's designed so you can complete the game," says Tommy Palm, whose official job title is "Games Guru" at King, although his role is more akin to a head of global studios for the social and mobile games publisher.
Why, then, has Candy Crush Saga become so big? Palm doesn't have a big secret to reveal, perhaps unsurprisingly. "The theme is very good, everybody can relate to the candy pieces: it's very positive and makes for very colourful and nice shapes," he says.
"Then of course there is the accessibility of the entire game: it's a cross-platform game you can play on computer then continue from your smartphone and you tablet. The game is free to play, of course, and there is the social aspect of seeing how your friends are doing."
You could say the same about a growing number of mobile games, but none of them are as big as Candy Crush Saga, so there's clearly something else going on here – even if it's just a perfect storm of luck and fortuitous timing akin to the one that fuelled Angry Birds' sharp rise in early 2010.
Candy Crush Saga is currently being played 700 million times a day on mobile devices alone. Palm declines to give an active-users figure, but analytics site AppData claims that the game currently has 132.4 million unique monthly players across web and mobile – a figure that only includes people who've connected the game to Facebook.