Candy Crush Creator to be Acquired by Activision Blizzard for $5.9 billion
INDIA / Red Newswire | Nov 3, 2015, 08:15 PM IST.
The owner of many big game franchises Activision is all set to acquire the creator of Candy Crush Saga ‘King Digital Entertainment’ for $5.9 billion. This hints on a big mobile expansion by Activision. Looks like the console games giant wants to enter the mobile gaming industry. This is expected to make Activision the largest publisher in the game business.
Bobby Kotick, CEO Activision Blizzard said, “The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment. With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before.”
Activision has been absent from the mobile gaming industry and is now purchasing King Digital Entertainment for a big price – bigger than what Amazon paid ($1.1 billion) for acquiring Twitch, the video game streaming website. Even Facebook paid just $2 billion for Oculus VR and Disney acquire Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.
Activision has launched many of popular game franchises including Skylanders, Guitar Hero and Destiny, though it’s making a very late entry in to the mobile game industry. Rather than self-investment, the gaming giant has partnered with mobile-focused companies such as Tencent to launch mobile franchises. The company in partnership with Tencent launched the Call of Duty Online earlier this year. Only two of its franchises – Skylanders and Hearthstone – have a mobile presence, that too in U.S. only. Blizzard’s Hearthstone has around 25 million players. Even though the company managed to gain wide audience with Hearthstone, it is still far behind Candy Crush’s audience. Maybe this is why Activision is pursuing King’s acquisition.
By this quarter of the year King’s games have already recorded 474 million users. With the acquisition of King, Activision-Blizzard get their own in-house team of expert mobile game developers – who can build new hit games and also expand existing Activision titles. Zacconi, CEO of King said, “We believe that the acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution. We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands … to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide.”
King will continue to operate independently after acquisition on similar terms as that of Activision’s Blizzard acquisition of 2008. This acquisition is expected to be done by next spring.
Candy Crush still ranks at 4th position in Apple’s App Store. However, the investors are not happy since the company hasn’t been able to launch another such successful franchise. This reflects in company’s shares this year.