Report: Candy Crush Soda Saga breaks $2 billion in revenue [Sensor Tower]

Soda Saga led the way to a $450 million quarter for King.

Candy Crush developer King continues to exert dominance over the mobile sector. According to a new report from mobile analytics group Sensor Tower, Candy Crush Soda Saga has now generated over $2 billion in lifetime revenue. The match-three game was launched in mid-2014, and has been downloaded more than 410 million times.

“There aren't many other games to have earned this much,” Katie Williams, an analyst at SensorTower told GameDaily. “The original Candy Crush Saga has grossed more than $5 billion, Pokémon GO hit $3 billion in lifetime revenue recently, and Lineage M passed the $2 billion mark. Also, Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battlehit the $2 billion milestone today.”

Williams noted that, while the battle royale genre has had a large impact on the mobile sector, titles like Fortnite and PUBG have yet to reach $2 billion in revenue on mobile platforms, although Sensor Tower does expect PUBG to hit $1.5 billion sometime in the next few months.

Soda Saga is the second game in the Candy Crush line, which also includes Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, and Candy Crush Friends Saga. In addition, King’s portfolio boasts a number of other freemium titles that have propelled the Activision-owned company to a $450 million Q3 2019.

“King hit upon a winning formula with Candy Crush Saga, and has continuously refined it since while also introducing it to their other titles,” Williams said. “King is also pretty dedicated to keeping their games updated, offering lots of new content on a consistent basis.”

According to Sensor Tower, the U.S. is responsible for the majority of in-game spending on Soda Saga; 55%, or $1.1 billion, of the game’s total lifetime revenue has come from American users, followed by Great Britain with just under 7%. The U.S. also leads in total downloads at 68 million, followed by India with 50 million. 

King is a leader in a mobile games market that is predicted to generate almost $70 billion this year. The saturation of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets presents a billions-large audience that is very attractive to many devs. According to a Newzoo report from September, 3.2 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone by the end of the year. Considering this, it’s no wonder that the mobile market is so lucrative.

Despite King’s hugely successful quarter, and the historical significance of the Candy Crush franchise, there other other large publishers who have greatly surpassed its $450 million in revenue for the quarter. Williams said that Chinese tech giant Tencent brought in nearly $2 billion over the last three months, and NetEase snagged a cool $700 million.

Still, the legacy of King and its games cannot be denied. “In a mobile market that sees hundreds of new games released daily, King has managed to not only stick around, but remain one of the highest-earning publishers,” Williams said. “Candy Crush Soda Saga having earned $2 billion alone is a signal that King knows what is likely to get players to spend, and that other publishers should look to them for an example of how they may best be able to replicate similar success.”

With the 2012 release of the original Candy Crush, King paved the way for mobile puzzle games, and helped to establish methods of monetization that are still commonplace in the sector today. It’s questionable if the mobile landscape would look the way it does now were it not for Candy Crush, and Soda Saga’s success is yet another notch in the developer’s belt.

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Sam has been freelancing since 2016, and has bylines at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, and Unwinnable. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter.

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