Candy Crush Saga has made publisher King a lot of money since its release in 2012, but those days have passed. Seeing strong competition from other free-to-play games, King's third quarter results were dire, with revenues down 17 percent since the previous year and 13 percent from the previous quarter, and profits were down 38 percent from a year prior. The number of people who actually pay in to their free-to-play game model fell from 10.4 million to 8.7 million. So, naturally, the company has decided more Candy Crush is needed.
Candy Crush Soda Saga saw its worldwide release on Tuesday and quickly rocketed to the top of the app charts. Well, it topped the "Free" chart, but according to App Annie's realtime data, it hasn't yet cracked the top 150 overall grossing, so how much it will immediately help reverse King's fortunes is anyone's guess.
It's worth noting that King still has four games in the 20 top grossing on the entire App Store. That's a tremendous amount of success -- and money -- for a relatively small company, and has to make you wonder where all that cash is actually going.
One place it certainly isn't being spent is in the development of original game ideas, as King has yet to actually publish a title that isn't clearly derivative of a popular puzzle game that came before it. King has already gotten in legal trouble for cloning games in the past, while also going on record to state that the company definitely doesn't clone games. It appears Apple might have some competition in the "reality distortion field" market.