The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, announced the 2022 finalists for the World Video Game Hall of Fame last month.
Alongside games such as Assassin’s Creed, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Sid Meier’s Civilization, the 12 finalists included the Candy Crush Saga by King.
Hard core gamers – fans of console-based proprietary systems and PC gaming – have turned up their noses at app and mobile-based gaming, even though “casual gaming” is the fastest growing, and most widely accessible gaming niches.
Candy Crush is a match-three puzzle game similar to the 2001 browser game Bejeweled, which hit Facebook and mobile app stores in 2012. It's not the first smartphone based game to get nominated – Angry Birds, Animal Crossing and FarmVille have all been nominated in the past – and Candy Crush first hit the list in 2019.
Does Candy Crush deserve a spot on the finalist list?
Candy Crush is regarded as one of the first and most successful freemium model games, a pricing model where the main game is free to play; however, players must pay for additional features.
According to BusinessofApps, Candy Crush generated $1.19 billion in 2020, and it’s currently the seventh highest-grossing mobile game worldwide, according to SensorTower. Now that’s impressive considering King expected the game to last six months, which they then thought players would move on to another game.
Fun Facts: The Candy Crush Saga currently has 11,375 levels within 756 episodes, and in 2020 it reported that 273 million players were “swiping away the stress.”
King.com Limited was founded in 2003. A majority of the games produced by King were available to play through their website or other partner website portals, including Candy Crush.
In 2009, Facebook began recruiting developers to build social network games, and King wasn’t one of the selected developers. However, after the company saw a decrease in players to their website, they began developing ways to integrate their games into Facebook and later mobile devices.
In April 2012, Candy Crush was first released for Facebook and only featured 65 levels. The game quickly became popular, however, and reached over 4 million players within just a few weeks of its release.
Later that year, King released the game’s mobile version that allowed players to connect their Facebook accounts and sync their progress between devices. The mobile release helped boost the game’s popularity even more.
In 2016, Activision Blizzard acquired King for $5.9 billion resulting in the world’s largest game network at the time. Enthusiast Gaming later claimed that title, but now a much larger competitor is nipping at their heels.
In January 2022, Microsoft announced its plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. If the deal is approved, Activision Blizzard will become part of their Microsoft Gaming division, and Candy Crush officially becomes a Microsoft product. After Tencent and Sony, this acquisition would place Microsoft as the third-largest gaming company.
Candy Crush took the mobile-game industry by storm. Its simple gameplay, aesthetically pleasing sound effects, and colorful graphics have helped turn the average person into an active gamer.
Smartphone and tablet games have transformed the demographics of who is considered a gamer.
But Hall of Fame Worthy?
Is Candy Crush worthy of this potential induction into the Video Game Hall of Fame? Of course!
Although PC and console elitism sweeps the video game world, Candy Crush is one of the highest performing games in mobile application history. Even after nine years since the game’s initial release, it still regularly cracks the “10 Most Downloaded Games” list worldwide compiled by Apptopia annually.
By popularity and monetary statistics alone, it deserves a spot in the finals. A video game doesn't lose its credibility because it is mostly played on mobile devices.
Video games such as Tetris, Pac-Man, and Pong have all cemented their way into history, and they all have one thing in common with Candy Crush. They all have relatively simple gaming mechanics that a gamer of any demographic can easily pick up and spend hours indulging in.
Video games are for everyone. They should be inclusive no matter what platform they are played on, and Candy Crush’s success has proven the game to be a worthy candidate for the Class of 2022.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame announced its first inductees in June 2015. The Class of 2015 finalists included revolutionary games like The Legend of Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Super Mario Bros.
Since then, every year, a list of finalists is announced. These finalists are then placed on a “Player’s Choice Ballot” where the public can vote for their selected game. Finally, the three winners of this ballot are inducted alongside three others chosen by the National Selection Advisory Committee.
The Player’s Choice Ballot closed on March 24, and the final inductees will be announced on May 5, 2022.
The hall of fame is contained in the eGameRevolution exhibit inside the Strong National Museum of Play.
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Featured image: Pixabay.
Kristina Lazzara-Saari is a freelance writer at Wealth of Geeks. She is an experienced narrator with proven success in digital and print creation and strategy. She writes about complex topics to make them more understandable to a wide audience.
When she’s not writing for Wealth of Geeks, she is either playing with her two dogs, practicing the French Horn, or going for a run.