How Candy Crush Soda Saga Grows Organically
Seems like there can’t be enough variations of the successful Candy Crush game by King. Candy Crush Soda Saga has been on the Top Free chart in many countries for a long time, but most impressive is its steady hold on the Top 5 Grossing position in the US for more than 10 months!
Soda Saga has for sure been a success, but what features in the game have helped spread the word organically? We took a closer look to learn more about the in-game growth aspects, as well as suggesting a few of our own.
Dissection of Soda Saga
What You Can Learn from Soda Saga
King have spent a lot of money on user acquisition for Candy Crush Soda Saga, but there’s still a few features that you can leverage with a small development budget. In addition to being an extremely challenging and polished game, there are four clear takeaways for other game developers:
- Use a social roadmap: From the very first version of Candy Crush the position of your friends progress has been visualized on the road. This triggers competition. It’s also a great incentive to connect to Facebook and to invite friends to compete for the best score.
- Localized fake friends: Soda Saga showed what appeared to be Norwegian people as placeholders on the high score list before I connected to Facebook. It made me stop for a moment to wonder who these people were. It’s a nice way to learn what will happen when I connect to Facebook, instead of the blank list used in Angry Birds 2.
- Give two choices: Instead of randomly asking “Please invite friends”, Soda Saga gives players two choices when they have no lives left: Either ask friends for more lives or pay for it. To have a choice is a strong monetization mechanic and with this clever implementation the game either gets more players or more revenue. Angry Birds 2 use the same mechanic to get video ad impressions.
- Opt-out Facebook spam: You reach a huge group of people by having all friends selected by default, either by the player accidentally or intentionally pressing send button. This is not a good player experience because it feels spammy, but it’s effective.
Suggestions for Further Growth
There are a few things that we believe can increase the organic growth and k-factor from within the game further (if King decides to continue re-skinning the concept):
- Use multiple channels: Connecting to Facebook is not enough anymore. Players prefer other channels to share or invite their friends. The world is moving from social media to messaging.
- Update the Facebook App Invite: The new one looks better and let players customize the invite so it feels personal to the recipient.
- Be able to share your score: Do you know that feeling when you’ve spent hours completing a level and you finally make it? Yes, that is the moment you just want to tell the world about. The world has to know, right! Why make it hard: Take a screenshot, close the app, open another app, share it. Implement features for easy sharing instead, and more players might share their proud moments with the right audience. Soda Saga has a lot to learn from Crossy Road on this topic.
- Incentivize invites: Players are encouraged and reminded to invite their friends if they are incentivized. Incentives can i.e. be lives and powerups.
- Share GIFs of an unbelievable pop: Players loves to show off their skills to other competitive friends. Why not let players capture amazing pops with GIFs to share with others?
Like our dissections? Don’t worry. There’s more to come:
- Angry Birds 2
- Block It
- Crossy Road
- 26 Proven Growth Features That All App Developers Should Know About
If you enjoyed this dissection and want to see more or give feedback, please suggest other mobile games to be dissected on Twitter: @Megacool_co or in the comments below.
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Megacool is helping app developers to boost their organic growth with GIFs and incentivized referrals. Sign-up here. Prior to founding Megacool, we successfully launched the Fun Run games with over 100 million organic players as part of the amazing Dirtybit team.