King games portal which birthed Candy Crush to close after 18 years

King’s browser games portal, home to some of the company’s biggest hits such as Candy Crush, Bubble Witch and Farm King, will shut down in December after 18 years of operation.

RoyalGames.com (formerly King.com) was the birthplace of the company’s biggest franchises, before they were transferred onto Facebook and mobile apps.

It has also been home to paid versions of such games, where players can pay a fee to enter tournaments or play head to head games. The highest ranking players or top scorer is then awarded a money prize, and can cash out.

Candy Crush, a favourite of Eurogamer alum Ellie Gibson.

Earlier this year, Eurogamer reported on a startling six-month wait for users who had requested cash withdrawals from the site.

The business, part of the enormous Activision Blizzard empire, had quietly paused withdrawal requests while it was investigated by Paypal over its business operations in certain territories.

But despite repeated assurances of an impending fix, players were left for months without the money they had played for and won, with little to no communication from King on what was actually going on.

The situation finally changed in the past week – some 10 months after withdrawals were initially paused – when users finally starting to receive their winnings.

There’s no mention of this saga at all in today’s blog post, which announces the sunsetting of RoyalGames.com and notes how the site has suffered since the widespread move away from using Flash in browsers.

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Today’s sunsetting announcement.

“Hello Royal Gamers, for 18 years, players around the world have enjoyed Royal Games’ competitive tournaments,” the blog post begins. “At the end of 2020, we shared an update with you that due to changing web-based technology on major browsers, we would be adjusting the game services we are able to offer to players. This evolving landscape has led us to the make the difficult decision to close down the Royal Games site.”

The site will shutdown and remove its remaining games (which now use HTML5) at 12pm CET on Tuesday 7th December. Players will continue to be able to withdraw remaining funds for 12 months, until 7th December 2022. No new deposits will be accepted.

“This decision was by no means easy. As this journey is coming to a close, we want to thank all of you, our dedicated players, for your time spent at Royal Games. We hope that you had many memorable experiences here, and we hope to see you on one of our other platforms.”

In the comments section underneath this post, the site’s community of users has reacted with sadness to its closing.

“I start every day with my tea and these games,” one user wrote. “Are they all to be locked away forever never to be seen again like the old retired ones? Will it be just a memory and a twitch now and then because I will never get my fix again?”

“I’m absolutely gutted that RG is closing down. I’ve played almost every day for 11 years,” wrote another. “You will be sorely missed. Good luck to all for the future. Thank you for many happy hours.”

“This is quite sad indeed!” another user wrote. “But, the happiest moment did happen on this site, I met my husband here! We met in 2012, talked online for months and met in person in 2013. We were married in Belgium on 8 /22/2014, and now live happily together in Wisconsin. I will miss all the friends I have made. Bye :)”

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