King is looking to a sequel and the good witches of the West to help cure its over-reliance on Candy Crush Saga.
The mobile- and social-game publisher is working on Bubble Witch Saga 2, and it is coming to Facebook and mobile. The physics puzzler sequel will once again have players firing colored bubbles to clear a play field. When three or more like-colored bubbles touch, they will burst and rack up points. It’s due out “soon” for iOS, Android, and the Facebook social network. The developer is promising improved gameplay, more levels, and better-looking visuals compared to the original. King has previously released followups to its games (Candy Crush Saga is an upgraded version of the original Candy Crush, for instance), but Bubble Witch Saga 2 is the first real sequel to one of its big properties.
Bubble Witch Saga originally launched in 2011. It put players in the role of a wicked witch from the East. This time, players control a good witch from the West. You can check out the game in action — and see its new hero — in the video below:
This is the first big mobile game announcement from King since the company went public in March. After months of anticipation, the publisher — which is best known for the near-ubiquitous social puzzler Candy Crush Saga — introduced its IPO at $22.50. That price immediately tumbled and has never returned back to trading at that level.
King is trading at around $16.15 as of this report.
Investors are mostly concerned that the King is too reliant on Candy Crush Saga. That phenomenon has more than 90 million daily active users (DAUs), and people play it over 1 billion times a day. The developer’s next-closest release is Pet Rescue Saga, which has 15 million DAUs.
For its part, Bubble Witch Saga is King’s fifth most-popular game, but it only has 3 million DAUs. It’s possible that the company is hoping to replace that game with something that draws in more players for longer.
King does generate most of its money from Candy Crush Saga. It accounted for 67 percent of its gross bookings in the first quarter of 2014. But it is starting to diversify, as that number is down from 78 percent in Q4 of 2013. By introducing a new Bubble Witch game, one that may improve upon the 3 million DAUs, King could put itself in a better standing with investors.