To the uninitiated, Candy Crush Saga looks inane: It’s basically
a rip-off of Bejeweled, the old casual/mobile game in which people have to eliminate objects from a board by matching three at a time.
But as those who have played the game know, it’s bizarrely addictive. We’ve tried to describe this several times at Business Insider: My colleague Megan Rose Dickey spent $US127 a week playing the game at one point.
The game only appears to be simple. In fact, it’s an ingeniously constructed “compulsion loop,” combining easy access, random rewards, and constant progress in an almost never-ending stack of levels.
Users often only discover they’re addicted to Candy Crush when they run out of their daily allotment of lives — and are locked out of the game in a period of forced withdrawal that lasts up to 24 hours.
It’s a lot more annoying than you think it’s going to be.
I recently introduced Candy Crush to a friend of mine, “Lorraine,” who is always looking for new iPhone games. She has twin 2-year-old girls, so she shouldn’t have much time on her hands for trying to manoeuvre a sprinkle candy next to a striped candy. But as you can see from these texts, Candy Crush can be more powerful than a mother’s love.
Note that during the first three days she didn’t get further than level 3 (Candy Crush has more than 300 levels):
She’s pretty sure she won’t get addicted … But then notice how quickly she progressed through level 30 — it took her about four hours!
This tells you why Candy Crush brings in a reported $US633,000 a day in revenue from in-game power boost purchases, and why its maker, King.com, feels confident about filing for an IPO.
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