Facebook 'Likes' King.com's new mobile puzzle game

King.com, an up-and-coming game developer, says the key to success in mobile gaming is "synchronization" that allows users to switch between Web and mobile in mid-play. Facebook agrees.

Candy Crush Saga on Facebook Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

King.com, a fast growing developer of Facebook games, unveiled its second Facebook synchronized mobile game tonight, displaying the type of gaming experience Facebook says its wants more of.

King said that Candy Crush Saga, which has nearly 5 million daily active players and 15,600,000 monthly active players on Facebook, launches on mobile in November.

Sean Ryan, Facebook's director of games partnerships, said the game is an example of how popular Web games can successfully translate to mobile games. Candy Crush Saga will be available on iOS devices and synchronized with Facebook. This means players can pick up where they left off on a game even if they switch from Web to mobile. The game, which lets players match candy shapes to gain points and level up, will launch on mobile with 125 levels and several skill modes.

Ryan said that Candy Crush Saga's Facebook integration will make it a success, and that King seems to be the only developer that has been able to do it successfully.

"They've done it in a way that other people have tired but no one has come close to doing," Ryan said.

King.com celebrates the launch of Candy Crush Saga for mobile devices with a candy-themed party. Donna Tam/CNET

King CEO and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi said he's happy to keep creating games for the social network. Candy Crush Saga quickly became a top 10 Facebook game after launching earlier this year. Since more than 50 percent of Facebook's users -- roughly 600 million -- access the social network through mobile devices, Zacconi said he sees the importance of moving more games to mobile.

"We've started this," he said of Facebook synchronization. "And I believe that in a year from now, this is going to be a standard."

This is the second King Facebook game to follow the synchronized web to mobile model. King has also launched a synchronized mobile version of Bubble Witch Saga, which has 17 million monthly active users on Facebook. It's No. 4 on the list of top iPad games.

Facebook has been hyper focused on making money from its mobile users. Ryan said at a recent press event that developers rely on Facebook to get people in front of their games using the network's social ties. Facebook logged 251 million monthly active users playing games on its site at the end of the last quarter.

During the company's recent earnings call, Facebook revealed that player spending on Zynga games was down 20 percent from last year . The social network's other game partners, including King, saw payments rise by 40 percent. Facebook and Zynga have an intricate relationship -- Zynga accounted for 43 percent of Facebook's game payment revenue last quarter -- but maybe the social network needs a new partner to tout now that Zynga is struggling . Facebook wouldn't say what percentage of Facebook's payment revenue comes from King's games, but the social network certainly seems to be impressed by the gaming company.

Ryan said King's recent rise to success is one of his favorite stories on the Facebook platform.

"They were not a flash in the pan -- they've been around seven years. But they came out of no where in an area that was unexpected," Ryan said.

King launched in 2003, but started its partnership with Facebook less than a year ago. It's now a top Facebook developer, second only to Zynga. Zacconi said the company, which employed 100 people this time last year, has grown to 300 workers and opened five offices. He said the company plans to hire employee 400 before the year is out.

King also launched a new puzzle game, Pet Rescue Saga, tonight. The game features animated pets that need rescuing and squirrels with skateboards.

See a Candy Crush Saga promo video below.

 

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