Social game developer King.com announced today that its match-three candy-themed social game, Candy Crush Saga, is currently ranked as the top app on Facebook based on daily active users, knocking Zynga's FarmVille 2 from the number one spot and marking the first time a King.com game has been ranked so high on AppData.
Candy Crush Saga currently boasts 9.7 million daily active users on Facebook, ahead of Zynga's FarmVille 2 which, until recently, had the highest number of daily active users (8.7 million).
Chief Marketing Officer of King.com, Alex Dale told Polygon that part of King.com's rapid growth and success has to do with the broadening of the casual game audience and more people looking for games that aren't of the resource management genre.
"If you go back to 2010 and look at the top 10 games on Facebook, and then you look at 2011 and 2012 and then 2013, you'll see that in January 2010 it was almost all resource management-type games," Dale says. "In 2011 you have the first casual social title on Facebook, Bejeweled Blitz from EA, then in 2012 you have Bejeweled Blitz and Bubble Witch Saga from King.com, and in 2013 you have three King.com titles (Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga and Pet Rescue Saga) as well as a couple of other social titles too.
Many are finding that they don't have the time to invest in a resource management game, which is why super casual, low-commitment puzzle games like King.com's Saga titles have been so popular.
"There's been a long standing shift to casual formats on Facebook and we think that's driven by a broadening audience."
Dale says that as more people start playing games on Facebook, many are finding that they don't have the time to invest in a resource management game, which is why super casual, low-commitment puzzle games like King.com's Saga titles have been so popular.
"They want something that's very quick to pick up, that's got some stimulating puzzle element to it, and casual games provide that."
But while King.com may have the top Facebook game and a number of strong mobile titles, social game developer and publisher Zynga still dominates the Facebook app scene. When it comes to the number of daily active users, Zynga games make up four of the top 10 games ahead of King.com's three. When it comes to monthly active users, Zynga's dominance is even greater with FarmVille 2 taking the top spot with 41.8 million monthly active users (and growing) and six of the top 10 games being Zynga titles.
Zynga declined to comment for this story, but App Data shows that player numbers for FarmVille 2 have remained consistent since its launch in September 2012.
Monthly and daily figures for both developers are available from AppData. Developers currently in the top 10 Facebook games by monthly active users include Zynga, King.com, Wooga and Social Point.