For a game that involves lining up confectionery in a row, smartphone app Candy Crush is notoriously addictive and is played by more than 45 million users a month, AppData reports.
It is a fine way to entertain yourself but some have lost control of their habit.
The game’s manufacturer, King, makes $670,000 a day from users purchasing extra lives or access to the next level.
Users are blocked from playing for a period of time after completing various levels until they choose to pay.
Hooked readers said they regretted spending hundreds and even thousands of dollars on Candy Crush.
An upset wife fumed that her husband had cracked the triple digits with his addiction. “My husband spent over $100 on it, which made me mad,” Lexie said.
But that’s nothing compared to Jeanna. “I spent more than $1,000 on tokens via PayPal,” she wrote. “That was a huge mistake”.
How do these expensive addictions come about?
Technology blog Gamasutra calls it “fun pain” where so-called reward mechanisms “defeat a consumer’s ability to make informed choices about the costs and value of these products.”
Mobile gaming companies are also using the latest technology to replicate the “appetizing” qualities of poker machines, according to Professor Sudhir Kale, a marketing and gaming expert from Bond University.
He said the same combination of “fixed” and “variable” rewards perfected in poker machines is being programmed into mobile phone games such as Candy Crush.
Only a small number of people become addicted to games such as Candy Crush, Kale explained. Addicts become stimulated by a secretion of dopamine by the brain.0