Microsoft announced today that the hit mobile game Candy Crush Saga is coming to Windows 10. Which is all well and good. But then you really don’t have a choice, either. The game will be “automatically installed for customers that upgrade to or download Windows 10 for periods of time following the game launch.” Yes, really.
You may recall that Candy Crush Saga figured prominently in the discussion about “Project Islandwood,” Microsoft’s so-called bridge to iOS developers. That is, when Microsoft announced this initiative, it said that there was already one major developer, King, which had used this technology months ago to port the hit game Candy Crush Saga from iOS to Windows Phone. This game has been in the store for months and has garnered rave reviews.
What Microsoft didn’t mention, however, was that King had since rewritten Candy Crush Saga for Windows Phone, and that the version in the store today isn’t a recompiled iOS app anymore. But they also neglected to mention what was clearly a very egregious clause in its agreements with King. Microsoft will actually bundle Candy Crush Saga with Windows 10 as a result. At least for some period of time.
(No, not literally, pedantic police. But if this thing is automatically installed when you get Windows 10, it’s bundled. Let’s move on.)
There is precedent for this kind of bundling, I guess. Windows 95 shipped with links to rival online services like AOL, CompuServe and Prodigy when these companies complained at MSN. And Windows 98 actually shipped with RealPlayer software. But this game bundling reeks of desperation. And that game? It’s three years old for crying out loud.
On the good news front, Candy Crush Saga will even include cross-play options with iOS and Android devices. Hopefully, people are still playing the game on those platforms.