Are you one of the millions addicted to the mobile game Candy Crush Saga? I gave up on level 65 after dropping too many expletives and micro-transactions (it makes over $850,000 per day!). Now I’ve found a new mobile gaming vice in Jelly Splash. Judging from its early success, it has the potential to be the next big thing and — believe it or not — make us more productive at work.
Like Candy Crush Saga, Jelly Splash is free to download and assaults the senses with bright colors and playful sounds. Players must also connect same colors in order to beat challenges and progress to the next round. After easily beating a few levels on Jelly Splash, I realized I was gradually being drawn in and would soon be hooked, a la Candy Crush. What’s the secret formula? Four things:
Sure, thousands of undiscovered mobile apps and games utilize the same formula. But the real genius behind Candy Crush Saga and its ilk lies in the gradually increasing degree of difficulty. Early levels are laughably easy and make you feel good. So you keep playing, not noticing that the difficulty level is slowly ratcheting up. Before you know it, you’re on level 65, cursing at your phone and dropping $.99 here and there because you were this close to beating the level, are fresh out of freebies and need one more try.
It’s hard to believe that humble “one-touch” games like Candy Crush Saga, Jelly Splash, Temple Run, Words With Friends, etc. have become such a big part of our daily lives. They replace dreadfully slow moments waiting at the doctor’s office or airport with short bursts of joy. They keep us connected to friends, family and co-workers. These unassuming, little games also stoke the fires of consumerization and gamification.
In essence, we want our work applications and processes to be just as user-friendly and rewarding to use as Candy Crush Saga. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but companies like SAP have been ratcheting up their offerings and acquisitions to heed this call. Are you ready to play?
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