So Activision Blizzard bought Candy Crush, for what I assume was their hardcore proprietary technology in game mechanics, but more realistically it could be for the new ads you’ll see all over the Internet where a goblin crushes candy. At $5.9 billion, it’s no joke, but at the same time I think it’s a horrible idea. Why? Because Candy Crush is going the way of Zynga and everyone on the planet knows it.
A few years ago, Zynga was the hottest brand in the world, as people devoured FarmVille. It wasn’t until Facebook got tired of game notifications and FB games became stale reminders of how easy it is to annoy real life friends virtually that it began a slow fade out of existence. Zynga went from around $10 a share to $2 a share, and is constantly trying from my novice perspective to keep its head above water.
Candy Crush Saga is sort of like, on its last legs in my mind. I don’t know many who play it and those who do, are most likely not wanting to spend money at this point. Candy Crush style games, including the Disney Free Fall series, follow a simple formula of giving you a series of easy boards, and then a challenging board that makes the premium items seem worthwhile to get past it, because you constantly fall short no matter what you do.
As you progress, new mechanics are introduced, following that, additional levels where there is a premium item to help you deal with that mechanic show up and are almost required to advance, that or several days of patience (I’ve gone through a few of the maps like that). In a South Park episode it sort of explains the process rather well, including the reminders and freebies that they throw at you to get you to come back, and the peer pressure to “beat your friends.”
This technology isn’t specifically valuable, I believe, considering knock-offs have come over and over again. Actually, I don’t know what value King has to Activision. From various things I’ve read, it’s from the idea that they’re strengthening their mobile reach, but anyone can tell you these days – saturation and fatigue are present in the mobile industry. I’m not an expert, but I know for a fact my desire to spend money on a mobile platform doesn’t go beyond quality of life improvements or paying for an Uber or Lyft.
Not to diss the hard work that goes into the mobile industry, but I’ve found gems like Monument and Lifeline plus A Dark Room come by so infrequently that there isn’t much for me to do and the evolution of Cut the Rope and Fruit Ninja is a few new mechanics in a game I’ve redownloaded 20 times to have something to do on those long train rides into the city.
Actually I don’t know why this happened. I imagine $5 billion would go a long way in developing cool new AAA games. I imagine it would probably make a Destiny killer or the world’s best Call of Duty or even mobile games that excite me to download.
Then again, I’m not a mobile expert, and by all accounts this could be a really hype idea, but for my part, I don’t really see it as such.
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