King, the decade-old gaming company that staged a surprising revival through the iPhone and its hit Candy Crush Saga, is abandoning advertising as a source of revenue.
Going forward, they’ll be relying solely on virtual currency. (But really, it’s not like they need advertising at this point.)
“We’ve grown very fast over the last year. The business model has changed because the majority of our revenue growth has come from micro-transactions around the Saga games,” said chief marketing officer Alex Dale. “It makes sense for us to reallocate the resources we had previously committed to advertising business.”
The company has been around for about a decade and managed a destination site called King.com that launched hundreds of arcade-style games. Although they were a bit late to social gaming, they parlayed some of their best performing work onto the Facebook platform about two years ago.
But their real success didn’t come until the last six months or so when they brought Candy Crush Saga to iOS. It’s now a regular at the top of the grossing charts and took the company to 70 million daily active players (or more than Zynga). Now King is seeing 26 billion monthly game plays a month, up from 1 billion plays per month a year ago.
While the company hasn’t commented on revenue, game developers with similarly ranked games like Finland’s Supercell have said they’re pulling in $2.4 million per day. But Supercell has two top grossing games, not one like King.
The company sent an e-mail earlier this week to advertising partners saying:
“King’s #1 focus around delivering an uninterrupted entertainment experience for our network of loyal players across web, tablet and mobile has unfortunately led to the difficult decision of removing advertising as a core element of King’s overall strategy. The executive team has decided to withdraw completely from the advertising business thus, removing all advertising elements within every King game worldwide effective immediately.”
The changes mean that a few people are parting ways with the company, Dale said. But they’re reallocating the rest to different roles internally.
“A couple of mainly commercial people will leave as a result of this,” Dale said. “But they’ll get generous support and they’ve done well in attracting major brands. So we’ll help them as in generous as manner as possible.”