CBS’s Candy Crush display misunderstands why humans love video games


Arriving approximately three years too overdue, with fact stars you’re Attendant Design likely strange with, CBS’s stay-motion Candy Crush game show is a captivating failure. The most suitable, which aired last Sunday with host Mario Lopez and former cast participants of Survivor and Big Brother as contestants, is enough tons what it seems like. Teams of play increasingly tricky variations of the hit cellular sport from developer King — trading smartphones for touch screens the scale of sports activities club bouldering partitions — inside the hopes that slapstick antics and goofy personalities can come may make a healthy-3 recreation sense aggressive and exciting to look at.

Crush display misunderstands

As leisure, Candy Crush is an unmitigated educate smash that’s banking on the lasting popularity of its lead-in, Big Brother, to drive Sunday night viewership. So who cares? A lot of awesome recreation shows get made, in some way benefit recognition, and stick around for some distance too long (or fail and are directly canceled). What makes Candy Crush exciting — a lesson for future TV programs — is how it aspires to bridge gaming culture and mainstream subculture. Unfortunately, as CBS attempts to walk that first-class line inside the look for more young viewers, what the show receives right and wrong is a new concept-scary than 1000 hours of Mario Lopez one-liners.

In 2017, CBS was just one of many companies and traditional sports teams investing in the billion-greenback e-sports activities industry. Mainstream adoption also hasn’t slowed the increase of sport-streaming platform Twitch, which Amazon sold for nearly $1 billion in 2014. A full-size chunk of this gaming-centric content material is streamed stay via a browser window direct to visitors.

In that context, CBS’s Candy Crush lives inside the murky middle ground between the fast recognition of looking video games streamed online and the passion of traditional media companies trying to capitalize on something they only barely understand. Traditional media remains seeking to navigate the landscape of online video, unsure how its territory ends, and the area of YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and reputedly arcane subcultures begin.

It’s smooth to imagine the boardroom logic that led to Candy Crush the TV display: hundreds of thousands of humans, specifically millennials, like to observe other people play video games. But, at the same time, the idea remains puzzling — if not repulsive — too many community TV viewers, especially individuals who’ve never heard of Twitch, not to mention owning a recreation console. And so, we have a show designed to soothe both, and in the end, failing as a video game movement and conventional game display entertainment simultaneously.

Even if CBS had carefully focused fanatics on online game streaming, it’s unclear what a higher online game-stimulated application would possibly look like. For young visitors, the type CBS wants to entice with a Sunday night sports display; video games are an awful lot for spectator recreation as they may be interested, lifestyle, and interested. Game streaming, which is more accessible than e-sports activities, is to be had 24 hours a day, seven days a week on Twitch and someplace else for each great recreation on the market.


It’s amusement in a context that makes, in reality, no sense to regular TV viewers or professionals. It can be digested carefully on a massive display screen or within the heritage of a browser window. The manner recreation streaming integrates into a viewer’s lifestyle is ever-converting. It’s dictated now not using suits at a network, TV schedules, or even via the platform owners, however using visitors and streamers (frequently one in the equation) in an ongoing dance of expectancies around how this content should be created, fed on, and marketed.

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That is to say, and sports streaming can be too abundant, available, and creatively fluid to live on community television. It’d be a problem to gradual development timetables, inflexible broadcast slots, and minimal interactivity beyond the occasional hashtag marketing campaign. What’s outstanding approximately the available product is just how far it misses the goal. Executives at CBS appear to understand the appeal of video games to a volume. And yet the community still developed a display around Candy Crush, a sport that came out five years in the past, has lengthy considering peaked, isn’t known for its streaming network, and functions gameplay that’s slightly greater exciting than Solitaire. Without compelling gameplay, the display’s creators have decided to complicate the enjoy with gimmicks and reality stars. Contestants scramble to suit colored candies even as floating inside the air with a harness, driving a makeshift crane and using a giant pile, and at the same time as fastened to a teammate with a rigid sweet cane in among.

Beyond these substantial challenges, nothing is interesting about looking at the actual recreation being played. Candy Crush has no deeper approach for contestants to employ or a narrative for visitors to digest. What makes Candy Crush work as a game is the varying stages of passivity and concentration you may sink into it. You can grind your manner via levels with excessive recognition and addictive energy, or by responsible spending real cash on in-app purchases, or you could idly stare at your telephone for 30 seconds on the subway. Flattening something that discretely dynamic into a chintzy recreation display misunderstands why humans watch video games in any respect, that is mostly to marvel at the unbridled excellence of a pro or to sink into the antics and narration of an entertainer.

The cost CBS is most applicable to provide is absent on Candy Crush. If people want to observe someone play an online game, they’ll visit Twitch. Television. They couldn’t get there, and what CBS is equipped to deliver is expert observation, cautiously edited packages, and human-hobby tales.

Crush display

Of route, no one ought to count on CBS to greenlight a competitive Call of Duty sports display or host a League of Legends event. The community is sensible enough to understand that most viewers are casual game enthusiasts at high and mostly unfamiliar with the wider gaming lifestyle. That Candy Crush became the handiest realistic pick then is telling: it indicates that the distance between a vastly important online target market and the broader mainstream TV one CBS is aware of it could attain is larger than it appears. Traditional media’s battle to evolve to that online universe means that it’d take something a lot bolder than large touchscreens and Mario Lopez to bridge those audiences.

Perhaps it’s a fruitless exercise, and CBS is chasing a target audience so that it will by no means be theirs, no matter how hard it attempts. Candy Crush may also have notched astonishing top-rated numbers, with 4.1 million viewers stuck after Big Brother 19. But it’ll be exciting to peer how many sticks round next week. The greater pressing trouble for CBS is that, pending something more audacious and innovative than Candy Crush, looking people play video games is first-rate loved everywhere but community television.