The head of King Digital Entertainment argued innovation is about more than launching new products, with improvements to existing games and fine attention to detail often driving better engagement.

After ten years of looking for the next big thing by investing heavily in new launches which often had marginal success, King president Tjodolf Sommestad (pictured) told MWC23 delegates the company has started to think differently about what success meant for its games.

He said innovation is often about making existing features in successful titles including Candy Crush better and remaining focused on what it already has while looking for the next small improvement.

“We learned how to redefine how we think about the next big thing. We ask where will this have the biggest impact.”

Sommestad explained keeping games relevant through constant evolution enables growth spanning several years, along with providing opportunities to break boundaries and redefine the market.

He also highlighted the power of obsessing with detail, establishing teams to “make what’s already great, even better”.

For example, in 2022 King revised the way it uses colours to enable players with the ten most common forms of colour blindness to differentiate the shades and shapes in the game.

It launched Candy Crush Saga with 65 levels in 2012. It now has more than 13,000 levels and it is adding more every week.

“We put just as much effort into improving the old ones. We constantly go back and rework our first 100 levels.”

Sommestad explained the moves had paid off, with Candy Crush the top-grossing mobile franchise in the US for 22 consecutive quarters, racking up 3 billion downloads.