Candy Crush Saga 1.14 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)Candy Crush Saga 1.14 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)

Candy Crush Saga could become the legal Crack of the app world. Initially belittled for its close resemblance to Bejeweled, Electronics Arts’ addictive freemium game, Candy Crush is now the poster child for the freemium model, raking in a record $633,000 per day, according to one estimate. The key is simple: get players addicted to the game, then charge for larger and larger fixes. Theoretically, the company behind Candy Crush could pull in $230 million in annualized revenue from this single app, even turning the game loose on Wall Street…

The #1 top grossing app honor is being bestowed by ThinkGaming.

According to ThinkGaming, Candy Crush has more than 6.7 million active users per day, each one earning the publisher $2.84 on average.

“The Candy Crush craze is turning into a massive cash cow and incredible example of the potential for freemium apps,” Scott Buscemi wrote over at 9to5Mac.

A youth pastor told CNN the game has a childish appearance but offers a devilish amount of challenge for adults. With 365 levels – each one more difficult than the last – players will often turn to Facebook looking for clues while some even more dedicated fans have reportedly hacked the game to get unlimited chances.

Therein lies the secret to Candy Crush‘s revenue bonanza.

Although the app is free to download, that is only for the first five levels – any more and the user has to pay.

That freemium model is so successful for King, the creators of Candy Crush, that in mid-June the company announced it was yanking all in-app advertising to focus on micropayments.

For some time, Apple has seen more than 75 percent of revenue flowing to App Store developers coming from in-app payments. News of Candy Crush‘s success with freemium apps should only reinforce the growing realization that – in the case for apps, at least – some very profitable things in life really are free.

  • Adel Ali

    Damn, I wanna make a app like that. Too bad I’m not a dev 🙁

  • Tony G

    It’s crazy how much money people spend on free games.

  • Dave Weinstock

    I wish more games would do something like that. Offer the app itself and the first level or 2 as a free download. That way you can test the game out to see if you like it. Then if you don’t like it, delete it. If you do like it, then you can buy the ‘in-app purchase’ to unlock the entire rest of the game. And more levels/add-ons can come later as addition in-app purchases.

    If the game is good enough, people will pay.

    • Dave Weinstock

      Just please, stop adding obnoxious ads all over the place in games.

  • Bob

    They’ve been using some dirty advertising techniques. Has anyone ever just happened to automatically end up on the app store page of this game? They’ve been manipulating their ads to automatically link you to their page.


      It used to happen to me like everyday. And btw they run TV ads here in Sweden for this crappy game. The company is Swedish

    • Tommy Latsch

      I wouldn’t call it dirty techniques. As its the same advertising all over. Their just using the system of mobile advertising. All apps use the same way.

  • Max

    Wonder how much they spent on advertisements..Seriously I see them everywhere on TV and in apps

  • Exhale

    I will never understand how people get down with these garbage game. They’re mind numbingly boring and repetitive. People really blow stacks on this crap?

  • n0ahcruz3

    Just another fad. Like farmville.

  • Dave Jen Burgess

    Grateful for the localiapstore tweak that has saved me thousands on this game….

  • adam coughran

    Clearly you have never played “Although the app is free to download, that is only for the first five levels – any more and the user has to pay.”

    Wrong it never requires you to pay. only if you want bonus candy to help pass levels

  • Singed

    I really don’t get what’s about this game. Having tried it I can only see that it’s intended for twelve year old girls who can’t get off Facebook.

  • omrishtam

    i just downloaded this game but havent played it yet…..should i….i heard it very addictive