King Digital exec explains why Candy Crush publisher is targeting midcore gamers

Legend of Solgard is available for free on iOS and Android devices.


King wants you to play their newest mobile game, Legend of Solgard. The Activision-owned studio best known for its Candy Crush casual game franchise has a completely different offering available now for Apple and Android devices. Legend of Solgard marks the mobile publishing giant’s first foray into midcore gaming. The game’s been in development for three years at the brand new Swedish shop, Snowprint Studios, which is comprised of veterans from DICE, Rovio and King. Gameplay blends a variety of single, cooperative and multiplayer offerings, which blends elements from turn-based strategy, RPGs and Match-3. There are also dungeons to explore and bosses to fight.

Arnaud Loiseau, King’s vice president of publishing and corporate development, explains why his company is targeting midcore gamers in this exclusive interview.

What do you feel Snowprint brings to the mobile development table given its veteran game makers from King, Rovio and DICE?

Snowprint Studios is made up of an incredibly talented team of mobile game developers from industry-leading companies, including Unity, DICE, Rovio, Zynga and King. They’ve leveraged all this experience to craft a unique, new universe, with innovative gameplay. We are really excited for the launch of Legend of Solgard.

What makes Snowprint's Legend of Solgard a good first step into the midcore mobile game space?

Legend of Solgard is a beautiful twist on the Puzzle RPG genre. It combines the depth of hero collection with a fun and approachable core gameplay that appeals to everyone.

What role will traditional console and PC gamers play in your marketing efforts for Legend of Solgard?

We are only launching the game on mobile at this point but will carefully consider other platform opportunities.

How much crossover do you see for this new game from your more casual Candy Crush and Pet Rescue Saga games?

While casual games such as Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga remain a core part of our business strategy, Legend of Solgard is a new genre of game for us and we will continuously optimize the experience for all players, including our existing player base.

Why did you feel now is the right time to explore the midcore space?

We’ve seen the midcore space gain a huge amount of traction over the last few years, and we’re looking to expand our portfolio of games into this popular mobile gaming genre with the launch of Legend of Solgard. The game brings new and compelling content to both our existing global player base and newcomers alike.

Will midcore gaming become a bigger part of King's library moving forward, assuming this game takes off?

We are in the business of creating and scaling large mobile franchises in all relevant genres to our global player base. We believe midcore is one of the largest opportunities out there.

What do you feel separates Legend of Solgard from other midcore titles?

Years of hard work and dedication have gone into creating Legend of Solgard. Its engrossing narrative, varied game modes and incredible animation is what sets this game apart from other midcore titles. The game combines the thrill of puzzle combat with the collection of original characters from a world rich with Norse Mythology.

With three years of development behind it, what separates the time and investment needed for this type of midcore gameplay from past King casual titles?

Each new game - casual or midcore – has its own development path. We’ve taken lots of learnings from the development of Legend of Solgard and our partnership with Snowprint Studios, and we will continue to grow together as we transition into live game management.

What are the challenges of standing out in today's mobile free-to-play crowd?

We believe players respond to quality, innovation and accessibility. With Legend of Solgard, the team has crafted a great new IP, with the depth that we believe will stand the test of time. It also has a core gameplay that is easy to learn but hard to master.

We've seen a lot of TV marketing in the U.S. for Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga. What role does TV play for Legend of Solgard's marketing?

TV is not currently planned at launch, but this is one of our key channels we continuously exploring as part of our marketing strategy.

What role has your PC online incubator program played in finding successes for mobile development over the past 15 years?

Our Royal Games website has been an incredibly useful tool to help us identify some of our most successful mobile game franchises, including Candy Crush.

What console potential do you see for Legend of Solgard down the line? A lot of people at the press event thought this would be a good Twitch game, for example.

At the moment we are very excited and focused on launching the most successful mobile game in a new genre for us. We will consider other opportunities in due course.


John Gaudiosi has spent the past 30 years covering the video game industry for top international print, online and television outlets, including The Washington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, Fortune, and Playboy. He’s worked on both the business and consumer journalism angles over the years. He’s served as on-air gaming expert to NBC News and producer of several video game documentaries for The History Channel and Starz. John is a co-owner and contributor to, which is the oldest video game site in the US.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola