WARNING: The following article may convince you to pick up a game you may never put down.
Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans? This is a decision many iOS users have to make when picking their next poison. By this, we mean not many come out on the other side the same person as before. Here we have a couple smartphone app sensations that seem to have no end. Our studies show that frustration, waiting times, app crashes, or even negative public perception of the games can make a Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans player put down the phone.
King Digital Entertainment, makers of the sweet social sensation Candy Crush Saga, began publicly trading their stock via the New York Exchange on March 26th. Shares will be sold at $22.50, a number not-so-surprising when you consider KDE earned over $1.8 billion in revenue in 2013. A testament to Candy Crush Saga’s success is how it is responsible for 78% of King’s gross bookings. We figure the KING ticker will make some noise out the gate this week as it is a cash-rich investment.
Meanwhile, Clash of Clans creators Supercell have no immediate plans for an initial public offering. Despite this, the Finnish gaming company earned $892 million in 2013, with nearly $500 million of it in profit. After months in the No. 2 spot, Clash of Clans is officially the top-grossing game on both iOS and Android platforms. Can you guess who used to be No. 1?
These two games were fundamental in Apple’s $10 billion store sales in 2013.
And how exactly did these games get to this point? What is it about the mindbending puzzles in Candy Crush Saga or the strategic warfare in Clash of Clans which make their mobile apps so popular and addictive? At Crimson Hexagon, we decided to investigate which features of these games are what catch players from the App Store pool and never let them go.
In this analysis, we’ll take the big numbers and put them on a personal scale. This research calls upon the voice of the people, whether they feel they are suffering from addiction or loving every minute of it. Let’s begin with the Brightview social media opinion analysis for each game. We analyzed 84,090 relevant posts from Facebook and Twitter about Candy Crush. We identified and analyzed 51,323 relevant posts on Clash of Clans on Twitter.
Over the course of the past month, we see how Gameplay Experience in shades of orange and Discussion of Content in shades of purple pretty much split the bill in terms of online conversation.
Of the Discussion of Content, 4% of people are using social media to bring up how long they have been waiting for the “lives” necessary to play, to communicate to others that they are in the process of “sending” them lives, or to simply pass the time while waiting or sending. We figure hanging around waiting for lives will lead a smartphone user to venture onto their social media apps.
Another notable content conversation subtopic is the 15% of social media users hopping online to either inquire about, or share, game strategies and tips. Social media is the helping hand for hardcore gamers to reach out and solve their frustrations. This brings mobile gaming to an all-new level of social interest.
A final note about the proportions of Candy Crush Saga conversation is the 8% of social media talking about how the app can crash, cause other apps to crash, or the smartphone to crash altogether. It is these sorts of Tweets that have coined the term “Candy Crash” for all frustrated players to use at will:
It is Candy Crush not Candy crash. And no, I don’t play it, it is a stupid game and I am not stuck at level 65. *mutes phone*
— Lamia (@ElleDeEmme) October 14, 2013
The most encouraging figure from King Digital Entertainment’s perspective is that 27% of Candy Crush Saga talk online does endorse the game for how much fun it can be. This is a number that influences mobile gamers worldwide to try out Candy Crush for themselves; this is a cycle of social media- to mobile apps- and back to social media that does not seem to be slowing down anywhere in the near future.
ay ria.. artina jus invited me to play candy crush on fb i was weak lol
— Lolo (@ayeeelo_) December 18, 2013
Now onto our other topic of interest, the world’s most popular multiplayer tower defense game for mobile devices, Clash of Clans. Here’s a look at this monitor’s Brightview proportions:
In spite of an overwhelming proportion of Gameplay Experience in comparison to its Discussion of Content online, we have plenty to talk about for Clash of Clans’ most important gaming features. Here we have a game that players can assume roles within; a game which players feel more a part of than Candy Crush Saga. 4% of conversation references an intimate relationship with one’s role in a clan:
My brother doesn’t believe in friends on clash of clans all must surrender to him
— leo myers (@leo_hahaha) March 4, 2014
As we can see, players feel a connection with the content of Clash of Clans that is unrivaled by the puzzle-based format in Candy Crush Saga. This conversation takes place instead of waiting-related complaints online. It is notable how Clash of Clans has similar marketing strategies in making users wait to progress in the game, even reaching 2 days in wait time when users have reached a certain point, yet gathers less than 1% of online conversation in waiting complaints. Waiting for builders, troops, and construction are worth it to the invested and dedicated Clash of Clans enthusiasts. In addition, only 1% of conversation brought up app or iPhone crashes as a result of using the game.
This game boasts exactly 50% user endorsement of fun amongst its online conversation, nearly twice as much as that for Candy Crush Saga. Between this figure and its minimal amount of app crashing conversation, we may have all the explanation we need for why Clash of Clans is jumping up the mobile game power rankings as of late.
How do Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans compare in their volume of interest online?
Looking at the end of February, there’s no doubt that Candy Crush is a more popular game on Twitter. Yet, we can also see how by the most recent numbers, Candy Crush Saga is dwindling in posts, while the steady Clash of Clans is beginning to make more noise.
According to our research, the difference in rising popularity comes down to game performance, waiting times, and a sense of community. If not all of these features are consistent outside of what we can find online, consider this: loyalty to a mobile game is what keeps users from tweeting “Crash of Clans” as often at “Candy Crash Saga”. The same users who share helpful tips have the power to expose a game in the form of ultimate transparency over social media, solely out of frustration.
We learn that perhaps it is best to keep users happy than on edge.