I read somewhere that Candy Crush, King Game’s addictive and mysteriously popular puzzle game, makes about 700K daily. I’d bet it’s even more than that. I haven’t heard that there is a CSR or philanthropic piece built into King’s business model but perhaps that will change at some point soon.
In the meantime, others continue to take up the charge of connecting mobile games to philanthropy.
The Global Gaming Initiative is an organization which selects charities, then develops a mobile game that can provide support to the charity through in-app purchases. The hope is that if each player spends a couple of dollars in the game, it can add up to thousands of dollars for the charity.
The group’s first project is Sidekick Cycle, which raises money to buy bicycles for impoverished communities. The game is free to download for iOS devices (an Android game is coming later this year, no word on BBRY, but that should be no surprise), and 50 percent of the proceeds from in-app purchases go to the organization’s partner, World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit organization that provides bicycles in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.
Here’s how it works: players tap on the screen to traverse through Africa’s landscape on a bike, performing jumps and other stunts to collect coins and gears. Along the way, you can customize the bike, upgrade your gear and add a sidekick, like a rhino or a rabbit, to increase your strength or speed.
At its release, the game had about 35 levels, which isn’t much compared to Candy Crush’s nearly 500, but the Global Gaming Initiative has promised to update the game with more action, including adding terrains from North America.
I’m ready to play.