Yup, you heard that right. Candy Crush developer and publisher King Digital Entertainment for just under $6 BILLION.
Love it or hate it (I’m in the latter), Candy Crush has been a massive success and depending on who you ask that’s for the better or worse of the gaming industry. How could one small company cause such a stir and debate in such a massive pool of gaming and mobile entertainment? Well, most of it stems from microtransactions, which could be a significant part of the Activision acquisition announced Monday.
Activision wasn’t shy about their intent on taking over the lucrative mobile market either. In their press announcement the juggernaut that is Activision Blizzard says they are in the market to continue to grow and be the:
…global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms, and positions the company for future growth.”
The acquisition is also an interesting one as King Digital reported large losses this past spring for the first time, losing share value by about 14%. Nevertheless, King’s two Candy Crush games are among the top ten grossing games in the Apple and Google Play app stores across North America.
Regardless of a small slip in the overall successful ride that King and Candy Crush have been on, the massive takeover by Activision Blizzard is significant. According to BusinessWire:
Activision Blizzard Remains the Most Profitable, Successful Standalone Interactive Entertainment Company in the World
King’s CEO Riccardo Zacconi has said in the past that he was no interested in selling or being acquired by larger businesses. Activision says it wants to position itself as a more wide-spread entertainment company, hoping to tie in more major franchises to their console counterparts. I’m no financial expert, but $5.9 billion for a match-three style mobile developer!? These free-to-play pay-as-you-go type games may be much larger than we expected.
By the Numbers
Activision Blizzard says it will be speaking to its board and shareholders about the acquisition this week, with the deal expected to be confirmed and completed by early 2016. Before markets opened on Tuesday, Activision Blizzard’s shares were on the decline overnight; down 4.3% to $33.23.