Kikorian added that the game and specific parts of the game where you see success, like beating a level, can create a "pleasure response" in the brain which can make it even more pleasing to play. Kahn and other players of the game know that feeling. "After I beat one level I had been on for weeks, I nearly screamed on the train."
Social Fuels the Spend
Candy Crush is a free download, but the game has become one of the highest-grossing apps because of in-game purchases. App Annie, which tracks app store stats and in-app purchases, has Candy Crush on the top of the highest grossing app lists for Android phones, the iPhone and the iPad.
The most popular in-app purchases include the 99 cent extra lives or moves, the $1.99 lollipop hammer, which allows players to crush obstacles, and the 99 cent color bomb.
Kahn is among those who have spent money on the game. She says she has spent around $40 on extra lives and moves. King wouldn't reveal how much money has been spent on in-game purchases but said the paid in-game features has been very successful for the company. Interestingly, Palm shared that 70 percent of the people on the last level of the game haven't actually paid for anything. "It was a conscious decision that players should be able to complete the game without having to pay," he said.
But while some of those people are on the last level for now, they won't be for long. There are 385 levels right now, and the company keeps adding to it. Every two weeks the company releases new updates with new content and levels.
And that breath of levels and the never-ending aspect of the game might be what keeps Candy Crush at the top of those app charts for a while. While these popular games tend to become all the rage for a few months, they then tend to drop off quickly. "With attention spans shortening and so many alternatives so readily available, players tend to move on to the next big game quickly," Scott Steinberg, a longtime video game expert and author of "Video Game Marketing and PR," says.
But Kahn says even after playing for four months she is still not over it. "I think I may stay as long as they keep it going," Kahn said. "My fiance is on a higher level than me and she said there is no end in sight."