King.com today revealed its popular social game Candy Crush Saga is now available on iOS (including iPad Mini), as well the fact that its advertising revenue from social games has increased tenfold over the past year. We sat down with CMO Alex Dale to talk about the developer’s recent milestones and what to expect next.
Like Bubble Witch Saga before it, Candy Crush Saga’s mobile version is a fully cross-platform experience, featuring identical gameplay to its Facebook counterpart. Also like Bubble Witch Saga, the game allows allowing players to synchronize their progress between the Facebook and iOS platforms.
Dale tells us King is actively embracing cross platform game experiences for its titles, saying “We just got back a survey from people who play cross-platform; the three top motivations being they want to pick up where they left off on Facebook, they want to compete against friends and they want to get help from friends.”
Candy Crush Saga is well-poised to benefit from a mobile build, as it’s currently the No. 4 game on Facebook in terms of daily active users, with 5.2 million DAU and still gaining. When Bubble Witch Saga’s mobile version launched in July, the game had already hit a peak of 6.6 million DAU and was already down to 4.5 million. However, since the iOS build of the game launched, the Facebook version’s numbers have steadied out at approximately 4 million DAU and we’re told it’s monetizing three times better on iOS.
Bubble Witch Saga’s numbers may actually start to improve again, though, thanks to the fact that Bubble Witch Saga is now expected to launch sometime towards the end of this month, though Dale couldn’t give us a specific launch date. Dale also tells us the Android version of Candy Crush Saga is expected to go live sometime early next year.
King.com also revealed today that its advertising revenue from social games has increased tenfold over 2012. Part of this is due to its campaigns like incentivized videos have resulted in an average click-through rate of 5 percent. The company says the rise in revenue is due to its ability to craft advertising solutions that enhance players’ gameplay experience while being less intrusive than normal ads in social games. As a result, major brand companies like T-Mobile, Macy’s and Samsung have partnered with the developer and more are reportedly coming in.
King.com’s advertising solutions have included incentivized video, where users opt into watching short video ads in exchange for additional lives in their game. The click-through rates for these are over 5 percent and the completion rate is over 85 percent. Meanwhile, the developer also featured the “Brand as a Friend” solution in its games, allowing advertisers to become in-game friends to users and to advance further in games without needing other friends’ help to achieve certain milestones.
“Game advertising, when it’s aligned with the gamer’s interests, is very very effective because players are in the funnel,” Dale tells us. “They’re not ‘media meshing’ (playing web and tv at the same time). We get phenomenally high click rates because of this.”
King.com says advertising now accounts for almost 15 percent of its total revenue, with the other sources being microtransactions from its social games and tournament fees on its own website. The company has also recently named Charity Sabater as its Senior Director of Ad Sales; Sabater is based out of the company’s New York City office.