Candy Crush is about to go public.
But what does that mean for society?
Recently, mobile games and apps have drawn attention for their addictive qualities. Flappy Bird, the simple-to-play yet incredibly frustrating game, was taken down from app stores for being too addictive, the game’s creator said. And the game, according to a Deseret News National Edition article, was showing a negative side of humanity.
“It’s worrisome that we live in a world that would rocket an almost entirely mindless game like this to insane levels of popularity,” Paul Tassi wrote for Forbes. “Forget video games, what does that say about society as a whole? Have we reached a level of boredom bordering on dangerous if we’re spending our time en masse on something so pointless?”
Can the same be said for Candy Crush? Well, the game, made by King Digital Entertainment, currently racks in 98 million players every day, The Atlantic said. “So, 100 million people play the same game every day. That's about the size of America's four largest states — California, Texas, New York, and Florida — combined,” The Atlantic reported.
So how does Candy Crush turn those 100 million or so users into sources for cash? The Atlantic said the business relies on people — about 4 percent of the users — buying “power-ups,” or methods to make the game move at a quicker rate and appease the users.
“King isn't a diversified business,” The Atlantic said. “It's a viral hit. And the thing about viruses is that they tend to go away after a while. Candy Crush accounts for 78% of King's total business (and 86 percent of its mobile biz) and most of its meaningful numbers — paying users, revenue, profits — are already declining. Candy Crush might be a marvelous game. It appears, for now, to be a slightly less marvelous investment.”
Candy Crush, according to the New York Times, offers a “never-ending saga” of questions and dilemmas. New York Times writer Emma Brockes ran through several questions that users think of when they’re playing their game, including whether there’s skill involved with the game or if power-ups and “boosters” really help or not.
“If the maker, a British company named King, files for an I.P.O., should I buy shares? How many shares should I buy? How do you buy shares? Why am I even still playing Candy Crush when all the cool kids are talking about Flappy Bird?” she asked. “Is there anything more tragic than an outmoded addiction?”
It’s an addiction, according to The Week, that is not unlike a gambling one.
“Brain scans showed that the near-misses activated overlapping areas of the brain that are turned on when you win, meaning people didn't really see themselves as losing as much as almost winning.”