King Digital Entertainment PLC, also known as King.com, is a social games company. King develops games for the web, for mobile (iOS, Android, Windows Phone), Facebook, and Windows 10.
King is led by Riccardo Zacconi, who has served in that role since co-founding the company in 2003. Gerhard Florin is the current Chairman of Board. He took over from Melvyn Morris when
he stepped down in November 2014. The company has 1400 employees and parcels development out to small, autonomous teams of designers working with a “startup” mentality. In 2013, it spent
$110.5 million on research and development, roughly 6 percent of sales. On 23 February 2016, King was acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion.
King games offer synchronized play, enabling users to connect to their Facebook account whilst playing on their smartphone or tablet device. This means that the user’s progress is updated across all platforms, allowing the player to switch from smartphone, to tablet, to Facebook without losing their progress in the game. They also offer two of their games to connect to KakaoTalk in South Korea.
Bubble Witch Saga was King’s first mobile game, released in July 2012 after its launch on Facebook in September 2011. Bubble Witch Saga and its sequel Bubble Witch 2 Saga are variations of Puzzle Bobble. Papa Pear Saga was released in March 2013 on Facebook, it is a Peggle variation. Pepper Panic Saga was released in January 2014 as a matching game on Facebook. It was ranked the 23rd most played game on Facebook in January 2014. Around 2012, Pyramid Solitaire Saga was soft launched on Facebook. It was released on mobile in May 2014. In late 2012 Pet Rescue Saga was launched on Facebook, then on iOS and Android In June 2013, Candy Crush Soda Saga was soft launched on Facebook and mobile and Bubble Witch 2 Saga was widely released for Android and iOS devices. In November 2014, Candy Crush Soda Saga was widely released on Android and iOS. Alpha Betty Saga launched on Facebook in April 2015. This game is a variation of Bookworm.
Candy Crush Saga
King’s most popular game is Candy Crush Saga, which was launched on King’s website in March 2011, which is a Match 3 game. It launched on Facebook in April 2012 and quickly gained popularity. Following its success on Facebook, King launched Candy Crush Saga on mobile (iOS and Android) in November 2012. The game was downloaded over 10 million times in its first month. In January 2013, it became the number one most played game on Facebook. It had over 45 million monthly users in March 2013. By January 2014, it had over 150 million monthly users.
List of Facebook games developed by King
|Bubble Witch Saga||27 October 2011||Similar to Puzzle Bobble, players aim colored bubbles at a field, clearing bubbles whenever they make three or more interconnecting matches.|
|Pyramid Solitaire Saga||14 January 2012||Based on the solitaire card game Pyramid, players attempt to clear a board of cards by selecting cards that have are the next highest or lowest value of the card they just selected or dealt themselves.|
|Candy Crush Saga||12 April 2012||A match-3 swapping tile game but includes special candy tiles that can be created from matches, and unique goals.|
|Pet Rescue Saga||11 October 2012||Based on SameGame where the player selects matching adjacent boxes of the same color to clear the game board, freeing animals atop the boxes once they reach the bottom.|
|Papa Pear Saga||25 February 2013||A variation of Peggle where the player shoots projectiles onto a game board to clear various pegs and land the projectiles into scoring containers at the bottom of the game board.|
|Farm Heroes Saga||7 March 2013||A match-3 swapping tile game to collect various crops to meet each puzzle’s quota.|
|Pepper Panic Saga||30 October 2013||A match-3 swapping tile game to collect hot peppers, where matches are based on both color and size, and a successful match leaves behind a pepper of a larger size.|
|Diamond Digger Saga||13 March 2014||Another variation of SameGame, but where matching groups of same-colored tiles clears out dirt and rock to create a route for water to flow between the level’s entrance and exit.|
|Bubble Witch 2 Saga||12 May 2014||A sequel to Bubble Witch Saga, following primarily the same gameplay mechanics but adding new level types.|
|Candy Crush Soda Saga||20 October 2014||Expanding on Candy Crush Saga by adding additional candy tile types, soda-filling levels that causes candy tiles to float instead of sink, and other puzzle objectives.|
|Alpha Betty Saga||13 April 2015||A tile-matching game following the concept of Boggle and Bookworm where the player attempts to make words from adjacent letter tiles.|
|Scrubby Dubby Saga||11 July 2015||A tile-matching game similar to Chuzzle where instead of swapping titles, the player slides a row or column to make matches.|
|Paradise Bay||6 August 2015||A village simulation game in the nature of Farmville, developed by Z2, a studio acquired by King.|
|Blossom Blast Saga||5 November 2015||A variant of Talismania, flowers of various colours are placed on a hex grid, and the player traces a line of similar-coloured flowers to match them up and make them bloom. Fully bloomed flowers then expand and “pop”, clearing the flowers around them.|
|Candy Crush Jelly Saga||7 January 2016||Expanding on Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga, with many levels requiring players to spread jelly across the game board, and adding boss battles with a computer opponent.|