Candy Crush Exec Doesn't Think Players Are Addicted To The Game

By Beth Leipholtz 07/08/19

The Candy Crush exec was questioned about the excessive amounts of money and time players spend on the best-selling phone game.

Image: 
person playing Candy Crush

The mobile game Candy Crush is still going strong, according to a top executive at the maker of the game, King. 

The Guardian reports that King executive Alex Dale told a committee researching “immersive and addictive technologies” that he does not think there is an “addiction problem” for those who play the game. 

Nearly 500,000 Players Spend 6 Or More Hours Playing Each Day

Dale says that the game has 270 million players. Of those, 9.2 million, or 3.4%, play for three or more hours daily. He also noted that 0.16%, or 432,000 players, spend six or more hours playing each day. The average player, however, spends 38 minutes per day playing.

According to Dale, these numbers are impacted by those playing the game who have “plenty of time on their hands.”

“Excessive time, it is very difficult to know what excessive is,” he said, according to The Guardian. “We have a fair number of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s playing Candy Crush. We do want people to play more. There are going to be people that like to play our games a lot.”

Dale told the committee that in 2018, one player spent $2,600 in one day on a currency aspect of the game that can allow players to move through it faster. However, he said it should not be assumed the player has a problem since he spent the money on a game currency during a “sale” and used the currency over seven months. The same person spent an additional $1,060 on the game.

“That sounds, and is, a large amount of money,” Dale said. “There was a sale on at the time so they were making a rational decision. It is down to player choice if that is what they want to do.”

Telling Players How Much They Spend Deemed "Too Intrusive"

In the past, Dale said, if players spent more than $250 in a week they would be notified via email, but some players felt this was too intrusive and said they would not spend the money if they couldn't afford to.

According to The Guardian, Committee Chair Damian Collins implied that King was not confronting the possibility of people having a problem with playing the game.

“What I’m not getting is any sense that you feel you have a responsibility as a company to identify people that are addicted,” he said. “You are only happy for them to refer themselves to you if they think they have a problem.”

Dale says King will again look into the idea of communicating with players about spending, but that it hadn’t gone well in the past. 

“We will look at the whole area again but we have done it before and they didn’t like it,” he said. “We have customer support available in 24 languages. Among 270 million players we have between two and three contacts a month from people concerned about having spent too much money or time on the game."

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Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. By day she is a website designer, and in her spare time she enjoys writing about recovery at www.lifetobecontinued.com, doing graphic design and spending time with her boyfriend and three dogs. Find Beth on LinkedInInstagram and Twitter.

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