King.com releases Pet Rescue Saga, announces Candy Crush Saga for mobile

Mobile and social game developer King.com announced today that Pet Rescue Saga is now available on Facebook while Candy Crush Saga for mobile is confirmed for a November release.

The developer is now ranked second on Facebook with a player base that is only behind the largest game company on the social networking platform, Zynga. King.com CEO and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi told Polygon that the launch of Pet Rescue Saga signifinies the growing sophistication of social games while Candy Crush Saga's upcoming release on mobile is part of the company's plan to have their games playable everywhere.

"We have a play everywhere strategy similar to what we have with Bubble Witch Saga," Zacconi says. "I think it's going to be the most important launch we've had this year. Our strategy is not to have our games on Facebook or mobile. Our strategy is Facebook and mobile.

"We're a hit-driven industry ... If anyone tells you that video games is not a hit-driven industry, they're lying."

"Fundamentally, it's like Coca-Cola," he says. "You want to be everywhere. If you're not on mobile or you're not on PC, then you're missing out. Rather than have the player adapt his or her habits, you make the game playable everywhere and then it's up to the player to decide in what way he or she wants to play the game."

Pet Rescue Saga will be the seventh King.com game to be brought to Facebook. The 3D puzzle game features animated pets, multiple game modes and 50 levels in its Saga format on Facebook.

The "Saga-fication" of a King.com game is the process whereby the company chooses a game from its expansive portfolio of games hosted on its own website that is a proven hit and fleshes it out with more levels and social elements. The model of Saga-fying games is what Zacconi believes has led to King.com's success.

"We're a hit-driven industry," Zacconi says. "If anyone tells you that video games is not a hit-driven industry, they're lying. We always have hits and non-hits, but in order to find the hits you need to experiment."

"Fundamentally, it's like Coca-Cola ... You want to be everywhere."

Zacconi says that King.com conducts its experiments on its website of the same name. It launches up to 15 new games every year on the King.com platform to more than 11 million players. Most of these games only have a few levels, but Zacconi says this is enough to determine what is fun and which games players keep returning to. The games that rise to the surface of King.com are then qualified to be "Saga-fied", where the core gameplay is taken and developed into a bigger game, sometimes adding more than 200 new levels to the existing game.

"We're launching one hit after the other where the game and the gameplay is proven," Zacconi says.

Pet Rescue Saga will be joining King.com's other Facebook hits like Mahjong Saga, Bubble Witch Saga and Candy Crush Saga with its release today.

Candy Crush Saga for mobile is due for all iOS devices this November.

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