Activision Buys Candy Crush Saga Dev King For $5.9 Billion

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Activision Buys Candy Crush Saga Dev King For $5.9 Billion

Candy Crush Saga artwork

The deal between Activision Blizzard and King should be made final in Spring, 2016.

If you thought Microsoft buying Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion was a lot of money... well, i've got some news for you. Activision Blizzard, the parent company behind both Blizzard Entertainment and Activision has just announced its purchase of Candy Crush Saga developer King, for an eye-popping $5.9 billion.

It's a lot of money for a developer that doesn't have the greatest reputation in the gaming world, but when you look at the numbers it certainly makes sense from a business perspective. King's games have over 500 million monthly active users, which makes them a metric fucktonne of money.

"Other than YouTube or Facebook there isn't a worldwide network that has a bigger number of audience members [than King]," said Bobby Kotick, Activision's chief executive. "A big part of the opportunity is to explore the intellectual property that exists at Activision Blizzard and see if it makes sense in that network."

The acquisition has to go through approval in Ireland, where King is based, but Activision says they anticipate that everything will be official by spring of 2016.

Source: The Financial Times

Permalink

Everything about this makes sense.

Unfortunately.

Jesus Hieronymous Christ... What in the fuck? $5.9 billion? I think Activision is putting themselves over a barrel with this. I mean ok, it might be a draw but I've got the feeling that they're buying the company on the back-end of its profitability and not on the upswing, which is a really stupid investment. The reason I say this is because trends like this tend to fall off sooner rather than later and for the big money maker of CCS, sooner is much closer than anything. WoW is in decline, but its an MMO and has been populated by a loyal userbase for 11 years this month. CCS is a casual game and I don't see casual gamers being as loyal as WoW diehards, and as soon as something else comes along new and shiny those casuals are gonna be damn quick to abandon the ship in favor of the "new and shiny" I mean, who the hell plays Farmville anymore? 2009-2011 was the most profitable time for Zynga's flagship and its never quite reached those heights of profitability since.
CCS is about the same age of Farmville at its height and I'd bet heavily that a decline is in the works real damn soon. Activision, I've never accused you folks of being smart before, so its not hard for me to say you would be idiots to pay this much for a company that is less likely to be profitable by the time the deal actually goes through. Waste money on something else, or *gasp* invest in actually innovating in the industry instead of banking on other folk's successes. The price of not doing so may end up being the difference between a respectable AAA publisher (is that an oxymoron?) and another THQ.

Now, see, at least Minecraft somehow manages to continue producing milk no matter how ridiculous or farfetched the idea is, but even this game is pretty much a one trick pony that isn't nearly as marketable as Angry Birds.

Nothing about this makes sense.

Lucasarts/Lucasfilm, owner of Star Wars and other minor IP that has defined pop culture for the past 40 years: $4 billion
Marvel, owner of Marvel comics IP excluding the movie rights to a few minor properties that have defined pop culture for the past 60 years: $4 billion
King, owner of a single mobile game with pretty much no pop culture value and pretty much one game: $5.9 billion

Activision is not going to make their money back on this one.

A publisher known for abusively milking its game series' dry while barely possessing any originality, and a developer which once wanted to trademark the word 'Candy' and 'King' while known for one mediocre copycat game designed to suck money out of people.

Yeah, they make quite a couple.

Lol, buying a developer always struck me as a poor investment. Even if they have more than one decent title, people in the game development industry come and go at the drop of a hat. If you get a great team together and make something awesome, that team will likely disintegrate before the end of the quarter. Even companies like Konami that could at one point slap that logo on anything and print money can fall apart in no time.

So, good job on that acquisition Activision. You paid out more than the GDP of probably 2/3 of the countries in the world combined for a developer that outright stole from other games to make something people play while shitting. I assume, I haven't played it due to lack of interest.

I bet that goose will keep laying golden eggs for you, after they find something on Itch.io to copy and then sue into oblivion afterwards for infringement after the fact.

Zacharious-khan:
Nothing about this makes sense.

Maybe they want to call their next game: "Warcraft Saga"? ;)

KoudelkaMorgan:
to make something people play while shitting. I assume, I haven't played it

You tryin' tell me you don't poop?

OT: General consensus seems to be right, ridiculous amount of money for a one trick pony. How could stockholders sign off on this?

KoudelkaMorgan:
Lol, buying a developer always struck me as a poor investment. Even if they have more than one decent title, people in the game development industry come and go at the drop of a hat.

When a publisher buys a development studio it tends to be for the IP they own and not the incredibly expendable talent behind it. They'll usually try to keep the people who are already there due to their typically being competent people there who know what they're doing, but that's a bonus on top of the actual goal.

So, good job on that acquisition Activision. You paid out more than the GDP of probably 2/3 of the countries in the world combined for a developer that outright stole from other games to make something people play while shitting.

Actually there are only 31 countries which have a GDP at or lower then the buy out. It is, however, more then the combined 12 bottom countries by GDP by almost 600 million.

Robeltu:

OT: General consensus seems to be right, ridiculous amount of money for a one trick pony. How could stockholders sign off on this?

Well if we ask Jim Sterling.

I wouldn't be surprised if the stockholders believe to own 2/3 of all vidya now.

Well, here is hope that Activision will be in deep shit thanks to this so they might have to start making good video games like they did a decade ago. Maybe we will even see a Crash game. A good one.
Ha, I'm good. I even made myself laugh with this one.

But still, almost 6 billion dollars. I can't even imagine working with that kind of money.

I admit I haven't been paying the slightest bit of attention to Candy Crush, but is it really worth THAT much?

BiH-Kira:
Well, here is hope that Activision will be in deep shit thanks to this so they might have to start making good video games like they did a decade ago.

They killed Troika, just split off Blizzard and let it die. The name Activision is poison.

erttheking:
I admit I haven't been paying the slightest bit of attention to Candy Crush, but is it really worth THAT much?

P/E wise it would take 10 years to earn back at current profits. For a real company that might be fine, for a one trick pony relying on a single mobile game it's insane unless there really was some kind of synergy but I don't see it.

PS. this doesn't make a whole lot of money for the original developers, they cashed out at the IPO.

Zontar:
Lucasarts/Lucasfilm, owner of Star Wars and other minor IP that has defined pop culture for the past 40 years: $4 billion
Marvel, owner of Marvel comics IP excluding the movie rights to a few minor properties that have defined pop culture for the past 60 years: $4 billion
King, owner of a single mobile game with pretty much no pop culture value and pretty much one game: $5.9 billion

Activision is not going to make their money back on this one.

This is the most amazing part of this buy-out. Even if King are worth a not-inconsiderable amount of money, for Activision to pay $2 billion more for it than Disney paid for the biggest comics company on the planet and the arguably most famous IP on the planet respectively... I'm sorry, what? King can not, can not, be worth $6 billion.

It's a ridiculous sum for any company, but one of King's size? This is going to bite Activision on the ass.

Maybe this is good news. After a few years, Activation will have milked Candy Crush for all it's worth and pretty much kill off King Games. The idiots at Activision will have wasted money (or at least a lot of effort if they do turn a good profit out of this), and the crooked idea-stealing mobile game company we all hate will be a dried husk of its former self.

The only bad news about that proposed scenario is the people at King who don't deserve to lose their jobs... will. The greedy ones will be laughing all the way to the bank as soon as the buyout is approved.

I can't wait to see when the next hit mobile game will wrench the attention of the casual crowd away from Candy Crush.

You're telling me Disney bought the ENTIRE Star Wars franchise for 4 billion Dollars, and here Activision buys out King who is only really known for Candy Crush Saga, for nearly 6 BILLION DOLLARS!? let me emphasize the previous statement, star wars was bought out for 4 billion, this was bought for 6... WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?

Zontar:
Lucasarts/Lucasfilm, owner of Star Wars and other minor IP that has defined pop culture for the past 40 years: $4 billion
Marvel, owner of Marvel comics IP excluding the movie rights to a few minor properties that have defined pop culture for the past 60 years: $4 billion
King, owner of a single mobile game with pretty much no pop culture value and pretty much one game: $5.9 billion

Activision is not going to make their money back on this one.

Actually, according to the Wikipedia article they've got 12 games, 11 of them released on iOS and Android.

What makes me both cry and laugh when I read the list of games is that they are all described as "Similar to X", so every single game they have is either a derivative of a game that already exists or a sequel to one of their own games.

OT: I guess that based on how successful releasing Angry Birds as a 60 dollar console game they are going to conquer the market by releasing more mobile games on consoles. I see no way this can possibly turn out anything but extremely successful.

When games like that makes that kind of money, it clearly shows something is wrong with the way the world works.

So, they sank more $$ than they ever got thanks to 12 years of WOW to buy this?

Look, I've hoped for years, due to their shitty practices, to see Activision-Blizzard go down and bankrupt, but I never dreamed it would happen in such a ridiculous way...

Pinky's Brain:

BiH-Kira:
Well, here is hope that Activision will be in deep shit thanks to this so they might have to start making good video games like they did a decade ago.

They killed Troika, just split off Blizzard and let it die. The name Activision is poison.

Is it? They aren't as bad as ea, which has gobbled up dozens of studios. Blizzard is still around doing its stupid blizzard thing, pretty much the same way it always has.

ot: 5 billion? How is king worth that much? Aren't most of their brands kinda starting to go down since they are mobile games which never remain money makers on the long run.

weirdee:
Now, see, at least Minecraft somehow manages to continue producing milk no matter how ridiculous or farfetched the idea is, but even this game is pretty much a one trick pony that isn't nearly as marketable as Angry Birds.

Well... Youd'd be wrong actually.
At least about Angry birds and it's parent company.

King Games reported a $574.9 million profit in 2014 versus Rovio Mobile's $37.2 million for the same year.

OT:
Sad as it makes me, I'm pretty sure Activison/Blizzard has a plan behind this.
Of all the things Activison is know for, losing money is not one of them.

5.9 BILLION!? WHAT THE FUCK!?

image

... People still care about Candy Crush?

Well, if it means King isn't suing everybody who so much as utters the word "Candy" then I can deal with it. If it bites Activision in the arse then nothing of value was lost.

Hairless Mammoth:
The only bad news about that proposed scenario is the people at King who don't deserve to lose their jobs... will. The greedy ones will be laughing all the way to the bank as soon as the buyout is approved.

Unless they insider traded on the option market (which a ton of people undoubtedly did) it only represents a small gain.

... Didn't EA do this exact same thing four years ago with Popcap Games which made the original game, Bejeweled, that *Whatever* Saga is aping? This is a serious case of Deja Vu.

So next game in the saga: Candy Crush action-RPG

All the humans i know that play this colourful, yet shamelessly unoriginal child's distraction are of the type that you only need to hear one sentence spoken by them to know that there isn't much happening up in that old grey tissue of theirs. To know it is this popular still...assuming the game hasn't evolved in the slightest...is an incredibly depressing nugget of thought. And now Activision have their slimy mitts in the pie too! This is all bad, all over. This is greedy people doing what geeedy people do best, while the not so bright people do what they do best; and there are so many!
I must go now and find some internet kittens to forget about this, see ya inna bit!

dragongit:
You're telling me Disney bought the ENTIRE Star Wars franchise for 4 billion Dollars, and here Activision buys out King who is only really known for Candy Crush Saga, for nearly 6 BILLION DOLLARS!? let me emphasize the previous statement, star wars was bought out for 4 billion, this was bought for 6... WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?

AAA publishers have developed a microtransactions fetish. Doesn't it make sense they want to get their hands on the game famous for selling the most microtransactions ever, no matter what?

Objectable:
... People still care about Candy Crush?

Activision sure does.

As pointed out in the very news article that's being commented on, King made $641 million in Q1 of 2014. That's why Activision paid that much.

So far as this being ridiculous, the end of Activision or whatever, it doesn't look like it. It looks like they just bought another cash cow IP to sit alongside WoW.

I wonder what their game plan is with this, does King have anything else on the fly, or are we going to see a dozen variations on Candy Crush like Rovio did with Angry Birds?

Either way, 500 million active users. That's just kind of mental, it's remarkable by just how much these games dwarf most of the "core" releases. Says a lot for how relevant we, and our opinions, really are.

Now THIS is an acquisition that people should be bothered by.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here