Ahead Of Possible IPO, King Reveals “Candy Crush” Hits Half A Billion Installs, 150 Billion Plays To Date

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King, the maker of the addictive and popular “Candy Crush Saga” game, and reported IPO candidate here in the U.S., released new numbers today indicating its growing user base and traction. The company says the game has now been installed over half a billion times across both Facebook and mobile devices, and has seen over 150 billion individual games played to date.

Oh, and the level people get stuck on the most? Level 65, apparently. It’s one where you have to beat the chocolate and the licorice. (Non-players, feel free to roll your eyes right about now. But really, chocolate was hard.)

The casual games company, which sees over 1 billion gameplays daily, is celebrating Candy Crush’s one-year anniversary today, which has prompted the release of these new milestone metrics.  To give you a sense of how much the company has grown over the past year, back in February, the company was reporting 9 billion gameplays per month across all its titles, which also now includes things like Bubble Witch Saga and Pet Rescue.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.55.29 AMCandy Crush, both a Facebook and mobile game, is hard to ignore. Even if you don’t play the game yourself, you’ll be inundated with requests from those who do. Odes have been written about this thing, in fact.

The company first released the game to Facebook users in April 2012, but it became a breakout hit over the course of the year, following its smartphone release last November. The premise of the game – matching three or more candies of the same color – is not entirely original, but what makes the game engaging has to do with its perfected viral metrics, cross-platform support allowing users to switch between devices to pick up where they left off, and, of course, that whole aggravating feature where you actually run out of lives and then have to wait to play again.

The game has also been designed to be updated as players move forward, instead of having to roll out sequels or spin-offs to get gamers to return. Already, Candy Crush has been expanded with more levels, but King hints today that it will again release more updates as well as new “in-game anniversary treats” over the coming weeks.

“The incredible milestone of more than half a billion downloads of the game, as well as the continued enthusiasm from our community, really delights the entire King team,” said Tommy Palm, “Games Guru” at King in a statement released this morning. “Fans can look forward to even more exciting new Candy Crush Saga content over the coming months, including an exciting new twist to the game.”

The company also released a few other figures that demonstrate not just how often the game is played, but how it has managed to squeeze its way into users’ lives during their downtime. Over 61% of U.K. Candy Crush fans play during their morning commute on public transportation, while 78% of U.S. players engage with the game the most while watching T.V. Gameplay peaks after work hours, 6 to 9 PM, and on Sundays.

Today, one in every 23 Facebook users worldwide is also a fan of Candy Crush, adds King.

This fall, it was reported that the British gaming company King had confidentially filed for an IPO in the U.S., using the secretive IPO registration process made possible thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.  The Wall Street Journal reported also that the company had hired J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, and Bank of America Corp. to handle the IPO. An IPO could value the business at $5 billion to $7 billion, noted Bloomberg, citing analyst figures which found King’s sales this year topping $1 billion, up from $500 million in 2012.

An IPO is risky because a game maker needs to be able to reproduce its hit-making formula beyond one breakout release. For King, several other titles do very well, too, but not necessarily on the level of Candy Crush. For example, according to AppData’s analysis of King’s Facebook titles, Candy Crush sees over 100 million monthly actives, while Bubble Witch and Pet Rescue see 10 million+ each.

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