Candy Crush takes mobile gaming crown from Angry Birds

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Candy Crush has replaced Angry Birds as the king of mobile gaming.

Angry Birds, which took the early lead in mobile gaming, has seen its growth slow. Rovio, the game's publisher, faced stagnant revenue and a declining net profit last year, after its revenues doubled in 2012 to about $210 million, according to Stuart Dredge with the Observer newspaper.

By contrast, Candy Crush has taken the mobile gaming world by storm. The games publisher, aptly named King, saw revenues top $1.8 billion last year. That headway enabled King to raise half a billion dollars for an initial public offering in March, although its stock price has slipped in recent days.  

Coming on strong is mobile gaming developer Supercell, which developed mobile games Clash of Clans and Hay Day. The company posted a healthy revenue of $892 million last year on the backs of those games.

The new games on the block are "free" to play, but you have to pay money for virtual items through in-app purchases, notes Dredge.

That kind of purchase recently got Apple and Google into trouble. Apple was forced to refund $32.5 million to customers as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, which alleged that Apple enabled children to rack up millions in in-app purchases by not requiring parents authorization. And Google faces a class action lawsuit over children's in-app purchases.

Despite the legal and regulatory issues around in-app purchases, market research firm Gartner estimates that in-app purchases will make up close to half of mobile app store revenue by 2017, up from 17 percent last year.

For more:
- read the Observer article
- check out the FTC release on Apple
- see Gartner's estimates

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