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King kills early titles to focus on hits like Candy Crush

The game maker reallocates its resources to place a bigger bet on its successful games and new titles.


King, the creator of hit game Candy Crush Saga, is killing some of its earlier titles to save the resources for more popular games, the developer informed players Monday.

The games include Miner Speed, Hoop de Loop Saga, Bubble Saga, Puzzle Saga, and King Gold Games. These games, which "never really got off the ground or have since lost traction with players," according to a King spokesperson, will go dark on September 10.

Instead of maintaining those games, the company will funnel its resources to the ones that are doing well and upcoming titles. King has killed a few early titles before, and the games it's shutting down in this round are some of its first for the Facebook platform, according to King Chief Marketing Officer Alex Dale. Facebook has played an important role in King's recent success.

"These changes will not have an effect on other King titles," Dale wrote in an e-mail. "Where we prioritize our time and efforts is a key decision, and we believe that we should focus on developing new titles and maintaining a gameplay experience for our key titles."

King sent notice to its active players of the change, while directing them to its other titles like Candy Crush and Pet Rescue Saga. Candy Crush had an estimated 20.7 million daily active players on Facebook last month, while the older games combined had less than 50,000 daily players in July.

CEO Riccardo Zarcconi has often talked about how King used its early games to perfect its gaming formula. When a game template works for King, it applies it to new games. This strategy ultimately led to the creation of Candy Crush, the No.1 game on Facebook for the last seven months.

In the last two years, King has been growing quickly. It went from 100 employees a year ago to 550 currently, with plans to hire even more developers before the year is out. The company has been around for 10 years, but only recently experienced rapid growth. Its newfound success has led to reports that King is preparing to go public.

Updated, 9:08 am PT: Added King Chief Marketing Officer Alex Dale's comments and more background.