After briefly teasing the game earlier this year, King has officially launched Bubble Witch Saga 2 on Facebook and mobile devices. The game takes players to a colorful world of friendly witches and animals, and challenges them to complete bubble-shooting levels with limited numbers of moves.
King has announced the upcoming launch of Bubble Witch Saga 2, taking players back into the magical world of one of its original breakout hits. The first Bubble Witch Saga launched on Facebook in September 2011, and still has over 11 million monthly active users, according to our app tracking service AppData.
Social and mobile game company King has launched its newest title on Facebook: Diamond Digger Saga. In keeping with the company’s other ‘Saga’ titles, including Candy Crush Saga and Papa Pear Saga, Diamond Digger Saga is a level-based puzzle game, which asks players to clear gems from the board to dig into the earth.
Candy Crush Saga developer King has filed for its IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing some staggering usage figures in the process. For the month of December 2013 alone, King saw 1.2 billion daily game plays across its catalog of titles, including Farm Heroes Saga, Papa Pear Saga, and other games in the “Saga” franchise.
Candy Crush Saga developer King has today announced plans to bring Papa Pear Saga to mobile later this fall. The game was originally released on Facebook in March 2013, and has climbed to over 18.9 million monthly active users, according to our app tracking service AppData.
This news is joined by a company milestone, as King’s entire portfolio of games on mobile, Facebook and King.com have crossed one billion daily plays.
Candy Crush Saga developer King (formerly King.com) has quietly revealed the closure of some of its older, less successful Facebook games. The move will see Bubble Saga, Hoop de Loop Saga, Miner Speed and Puzzle Saga all close on September 10, but the company’s most popular ‘Saga’ games won’t be affected. This closure also affects King’s test project King Gold Games, a Facebook hub for events and new game discovery.
Social and casual games company King (formerly King.com) has passed Zynga to become the top app developer on Facebook by monthly active users.
Guest Post: King.com’s move to pull ads more about user experience and less about the effectiveness of in-game advertising
King’s decision to pull all its in-game advertising from mobile, web and tablet shouldn’t be seen as a judgement on the effectiveness of advertising, but rather as a decision to put the user experience ahead of advertising revenue. With the rise of freemium and paymium apps, we’ve seen rapid growth of in-app advertising both as a key discovery channel and way to drive installs. In addition to this, it signifies advertising as an earner in its own right for any publisher with a big installed base. At first glance then, King’s decision seems to run contrary to the trend of using more advertising, rather than less. After all, with the daily spend on install based advertising passing $80,000 in order to get to the top of Apple’s app store, many developers are prioritizing advertising spend above everything else.
The reality is that King understands very well that there’s a trade-off between in-app ads and retention rates. High retention rates are vital for getting to the top of the app stores if you’re not willing to spend your way to get there. Yes, by reducing advertising spend you may decrease the flow of new users and lower your ARPU, if the number of highly engaged, loyal players that spend more on IAP rises to more than the amount lost from the decrease, the net revenues will be higher.
For a game that is engaging and monetizing as well as Candy Crush Saga, there is an opportunity cost to showing advertising. Poorly integrated advertising can be very jarring and deliver a poor overall experience. This has certainly been an accusation leveled at many freemium games in the past, even those from chart-topping developers. For an app to be successful, retention is as important as acquisition. Retention drives the majority of IAP over time. So King may well have seen that there is a far bigger upside in terms of keeping users playing its games than there in generating revenues through advertising. In response, it has adjusted its strategy to fit this new model.
Perhaps one of the lessons here is that effective In-app advertising isn’t about cramming ads into every spare inch of a game; it’s about fitting into the UI in an unobtrusive way that doesn’t detract from the user experience or gameplay. Done well, advertising is a vital part of the business model behind the majority of apps. Some developers create a user experience which is actually optimised so that the display of adverts like interstitials is seamless within transitions and loading screens, while some will look to focus on in-app purchasing for revenue instead. There is no set method for turning a popular app into a cash-generating one: any developer that takes the advertising route needs to think carefully about how and where in-app ads appears in their games, in the same way they would think about in-app purchasing or the price strategy for a premium title.
Chris Hanage is Managing Director for Europe at mobile distribution and monetisation company PapayaMobile. Prior to joining PapayaMobile in September 2011, Chris spent two years as Business Development Director at branded mobile internet and operator portal site developer Momac.
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