King has announced that the free-to-play Candy Crush Saga has been downloaded more than 500 million times. There have also been more than 150 billion games played.
"The past year has been one of the most exciting times for King since Candy Crush Saga launched on mobile," Games Guru at King Tommy Palm told Telegraph. "The incredible milestone of more than half a billion downloads of the game, as well as the continued enthusiasm from our community, really delights the entire King team. Fans can look forward to even more exciting new Candy Crush Saga content over the coming months, including an exciting new twist to the game."
The game was originally just one level on the King.com website and was released on Facebook in April 2012. The game passed Farmville 2 in March 2013 to become the most popular game on Facebook. The game was finally released on smartphones in November 2012.
"At its core, the success of Candy Crush relies on game mechanics that work universally – it's very casual and easy to get into, while at the same time you don't get tired of it; it's something that you can play over and over again, and it's meaningful for a long time," said Palm.
"The fact that you can access it on lots of different devices and continue your adventure from another platform is very important, and then there's the social aspect – games have traditionally always been social, but with recent technology updates it's much more acceptable to people to have their friends within a game and see who else is playing it."
King has recently been pressured about its in-app purchases for Candy Crush Saga. The Office of Fair Trading is concerned that children and parents are being pressured to purchase when they play the game. However, more than 60 percent of people who have made it to the end of the game have not made any purchases.
"We took the decision at King to make sure that the game can be played from the beginning to the very end without blocking a potential player so they couldn't progress. It's a lot about finding a good balance and being generous while at the same time having things that make sense to purchase inside."