Activision Buys Candy Crush Saga Dev King For $5.9 Billion

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Loonyyy:
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.

I always take those kinds of numbers with a grain of salt, since publishers like to mix up the terms 'active' and 'registered'.

Loonyyy:
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.

That still doesn't make any sort of sense. You're looking at almost 10 years of profit at that level in order to make back your investment. Now, Candy Crush is a popular game, but all that we've seen says that the number will deteriorate quick. That's the nature of mobile gaming.

No, you buy developers like this because you're not only looking for the profit, but because you can do something with those resources together that you couldn't do something singularly. Activision has money, business expertise (supposedly) and a few other positives. They think they can use that to make something better. At least, assuming that this is an educated decision that will turn out well.

More than likely though, this is a guy in a suit making a decision that the mobile game market is something they want to get into, and so they're going to buy a big boy in the market, and use that to setup their own division. This decision really only makes sense if you ignore the cost/benefit side, and look at it as someone making a stupid decision ignoring the costs.

For reference, all George Lucas owned properties cost Disney a mere 4 billion dollars. Activision could have bought the entire Star Wars universe for less then they spent on Candy Crush.

Whatever, just a bunch of dickheads paying a bunch of other dickheads a buttload of money.

As soon as I read the title of the thread I took out my phone and deleted Candy Crush. Half out of spite and half out of I haven't touched it in months. I like to think I actively hurt Activision very slightly. That's for giving Radical the Crash Bandicoot IP to fuck up.

That's just madness.

This could be really good or really bad for activision, but either way I don't think it'll work out great for gamers: activision's going to want to get that money back as soon as possible.

...man, what the hell.

Ldude893:
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.

They also tried to copyright saga then sued the makers of the Banner Saga for having Saga in their name.

I don't play Candy Crush, in any form; I still haven't forgiven King for that whole "Saga" debacle. But... really? I know Candy Crush and its various spin-offs aren't the only thing King produces, but I've never gotten the impression that they did anything that was much more than slickly-produced variants of game ideas that were already well-established. If two and a half billion was too much to pay for Mojang (and let's face it, it probably was), nearly $6 billion is... just... well... Let's say I wouldn't want to be an Activision shareholder right now.

By way of contrast, it's estimated that EA paid, at the high end, $1.3 billion for Popcap. And Popcap had more than one name-recognizable title at the time.

Even if there's some stroke of brilliance here that I'm just not seeing, I can't help but think that you could bankroll a lot of good games for that much money instead of sinking it into snapping up a company like King. This isn't game-friendly or creative thinking; this is "Well, the kids sure do seem to like 'x'" kind of thinking. It's a shame.

This is great news and I congratulate Activision on a well thought-out and certainly soon-to-be profitable business decision.
King and Activision, together (and for a bargain price), is a match made in heaven that will surely bring us great games in the future. If we're lucky then Activision will put King right to work on the next Call of Duty, Skylanders or..... one of the many other franchises that Activision owns. Maybe we'll even get some King-infused Blizzard games! Just imagine all the sweet micropayments waiting around the corner! Get out your wallets everyone!

Hey, Activision, how many of the 500 million Candy Crush users do you think will enjoy Call of Duty or Skylanders or.... one of the many other franchises you own? I sure hope all 500 million of them!

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.

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!?

King is known for more than just Candy Crush Saga. They have 12 IPs to their name (none of them even remotely original), at least half of which are hugely popular. (Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, etc)

Sadly, King makes orders of magnitude more per year in profits than Rovio does.

Mangod:

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.

You misunderstand the point of the buyout.

Activision isn't buying King, they're buying a network of over 500 million active users. They likely don't give a flying shit about King and it's IPs.

And frankly, for a network of that size, $5.9 billion isn't that large a sum.

MarsAtlas:
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.

It was Saga. That's why King attempted to sue Stoic over the game The Banner Saga.

Which, as much as I hate to say, wasn't entirely King's fault. At least part of the blame lies with the US's clusterfucky mess of copyright laws.

Xeorm:
That still doesn't make any sort of sense. You're looking at almost 10 years of profit at that level in order to make back your investment.

10 year ROI isn't terrible. Frankly, that makes this a lot more reasonable than most of the big purchases we've heard about recently. Facebook dumped $2 billion on a company that has never made a profit and only sells prototypes. All Activision needs to make a profit on this is for things to stay more-or-less the same. I'm sure they're hoping to synergize and capitalize on it, of course.

"Are you bored waiting for your raid to start? Play some Candy Crush Saga while you wait, now a integrated part of the World of Warcraft client."
Wouldn't surprise me if that happened, since there has been made both Bejeweled and Peggle mods for WoW before.

Candy Crush worth 1.5 times the entirety of Lucasarts? Seems legit -_-.

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!?

Chill. This does not prove that Candy Crush is worth more than Star Wars. All it proves is that King are assholes and Activision are morons. In other words - nothing to report!

CARTMAN: 'But then why would Scott Tenorman sell me his pubes for ten dollars?'
KYLE: 'Because you're dumb enough to BUY Scott Tenorman's pubes for ten dollars!'

-Reenactment courtesy of South Park.

Quick! We're a failing company, buy out something popular. Surely people will like us again...
It worked so well for Micro$oft and Mojang.

Well, at least the evil's of Activision and King can now be in one place, one giant monstrosity of Candy Crush Clones and CoD sequels endlessly snaking and gobbling up any money in sight

gigastar:

I always take those kinds of numbers with a grain of salt, since publishers like to mix up the terms 'active' and 'registered'.

Sure. Even so, that's a much bigger market. You have Dead space trying for, what was it, 3, 5 million sales? At some point, 500 million devices have had CCS installed.

Xeorm:

That still doesn't make any sort of sense. You're looking at almost 10 years of profit at that level in order to make back your investment.

That's not how that works.

The ROI calculation is a lot more complicated than just, income vs. cost. Otherwise, it wouldn't make sense to sell either. Because in ten years, they'll make more than they would gain by selling.

There are a lot of armchair investors in here, and they are mistaken if they think that this number is excessive.

Now, Candy Crush is a popular game, but all that we've seen says that the number will deteriorate quick. That's the nature of mobile gaming.

Suprise! That's why I said in my post that I wonder what they're planning to do with it. Do try to keep up, going over what I already said is rather tedious.

I suspect we're going to see a bunch of variants of CCS, like Angry Birds, like Bejewelled. And like Bejewelled, we can expect that this thing is going to be around for a while. 500 million users isn't going to stick that way, and the amount who are actually using the monetization is going to be much less, of course it's going to decay.

No, you buy developers like this because you're not only looking for the profit, but because you can do something with those resources together that you couldn't do something singularly.

If we were having a conversation in person, you would see my eyes rolling. This is IN WHAT YOU QUOTED.

What King has is a profitable brand, and profitable IP. That's what Activision interested in. That's what publishers are always interested in.

Activision has money, business expertise (supposedly)

This undermines every word you say.

and a few other positives.

Distribution, marketting expertise, larger QA departments, come on.

You're also likely mistaking how this works for King. This is not a deal for cooperation. This is a takeover, a larger organism consuming a smaller one.

This is most likely a "sell-out" move for King, making bank on their brand. Really, this is likely the ideal endgame for King, making their stocks worth a lot, providing a large income, and selling the company for a hefty profit. That is a much less risky game than game development.

They think they can use that to make something better.

No, they don't.

They think that using what King has (Which is IP. That's what Activision cares about. Anyone could make a Candy Crush knockoff. They're after branding).

They think that King will make them money, and that they can exploit King to make more money. They don't have to make it better. They have to make it more.

At least, assuming that this is an educated decision that will turn out well.

Trust me, this decision is almost certainly more educated than my post or yours, or most of the opinions in this thread.

I know us core gamers tend to think of ourselves as being the most knowledgeable about games, but as I said, we are a very small fish, with a very overinflated sense of our own importance.

More than likely though, this is a guy in a suit making a decision that the mobile game market is something they want to get into, and so they're going to buy a big boy in the market, and use that to setup their own division.

Perhaps. I doubt it though. No matter what, Activision is going to take over King's revenue stream, and they're probably going to do what Activision does best-pump out variations and knockoffs until the market is dead. Like you said, this is a short lived market. It won't be around forever. Activision knows this better than anyone. Look at Guitar Hero, look at Call of Duty.

This decision really only makes sense if you ignore the cost/benefit side, and look at it as someone making a stupid decision ignoring the costs.

No, what this is, is people thinking that they're doing a cost benefit analysis because they know multiplication, and again assuming plain stupidity at the hands of the suits. Activision, and other companies, don't place all their eggs in one basket. Everything is a risk, and diversification spreads risk. Looking at it as one payment, with the income for ROI is not how it works.

For how stupid Activision, EA et al are said to be, they haven't managed to go under for quite a long time, even though we've been calling them all the evil under the sun for more than a decade. They know well enough how to make money, what risks they can take. Yes, some of the decisions they make are less good, or wrongheaded. I don't see how anyone has presented a case that this is one of them, apart from demonstrating that folks here would run an even worse Activision than Activision does.

First, your post doesn't say half of what you think it does. Just putting it out there.

Loonyyy:
Distribution, marketting expertise, larger QA departments, come on.

You're also likely mistaking how this works for King. This is not a deal for cooperation. This is a takeover, a larger organism consuming a smaller one.

This is most likely a "sell-out" move for King, making bank on their brand. Really, this is likely the ideal endgame for King, making their stocks worth a lot, providing a large income, and selling the company for a hefty profit. That is a much less risky game than game development.

I'm fully aware of how this works. King thinks that this deal will give them more money long term than keeping their profits to themselves. It's not a hostile takeover or anything, both think this deal works out long term. Hence, listing out some benefits Activision has to make money off the IP is important, as it implies both that King thinks they couldn't make the same money in the long term, and that Activision can make more than that in the same time frame.

No, they don't.

They think that using what King has (Which is IP. That's what Activision cares about. Anyone could make a Candy Crush knockoff. They're after branding).

They think that King will make them money, and that they can exploit King to make more money. They don't have to make it better. They have to make it more.

Not necessarily. They'll want the IP sure, but it's not that profitable. Not 6 billion worth. Candy Crush isn't worth 50% more than the entire Star Wars IP.

What I bet they want as well is the mobile aspect, to setup their own. Only way this makes sense.

Trust me, this decision is almost certainly more educated than my post or yours, or most of the opinions in this thread.

I know us core gamers tend to think of ourselves as being the most knowledgeable about games, but as I said, we are a very small fish, with a very overinflated sense of our own importance.

More than likely though, this is a guy in a suit making a decision that the mobile game market is something they want to get into, and so they're going to buy a big boy in the market, and use that to setup their own division.

Perhaps. I doubt it though. No matter what, Activision is going to take over King's revenue stream, and they're probably going to do what Activision does best-pump out variations and knockoffs until the market is dead. Like you said, this is a short lived market. It won't be around forever. Activision knows this better than anyone. Look at Guitar Hero, look at Call of Duty.

This decision really only makes sense if you ignore the cost/benefit side, and look at it as someone making a stupid decision ignoring the costs.

No, what this is, is people thinking that they're doing a cost benefit analysis because they know multiplication, and again assuming plain stupidity at the hands of the suits. Activision, and other companies, don't place all their eggs in one basket. Everything is a risk, and diversification spreads risk. Looking at it as one payment, with the income for ROI is not how it works.

For how stupid Activision, EA et al are said to be, they haven't managed to go under for quite a long time, even though we've been calling them all the evil under the sun for more than a decade. They know well enough how to make money, what risks they can take. Yes, some of the decisions they make are less good, or wrongheaded. I don't see how anyone has presented a case that this is one of them, apart from demonstrating that folks here would run an even worse Activision than Activision does.

Why trust you that this is a more educated decision? All the info I've seen on major publishers shows precisely that they're not all that educated on their own market. The CEOs at top are all from other businesses, doing things that tend not to make too much sense.

Going under isn't all that common with such big corporation. They've amassed plenty of inertia, which means it'll take just as much time to fall down. Look at EA though, they've been making mistake after mistake, and even though they're losing money, they're still going.

Voxoid:
Quick! We're a failing company, buy out something popular. Surely people will like us again...
It worked so well for Micro$oft and Mojang.

Failing?

Activision is the biggest and most profitable publisher in the business right now. To be fair, a huge huge portion of that is due to Blizzard's involvement (Hearthstone makes a disgusting amount of money, on top of the WoW money) while EA is spread out all over the place, but the point still stands.

Gronk:

Zacharious-khan:
Nothing about this makes sense.

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

I think you've hit the nail square in the head - that's exactly what they're going to do. Quick, register the IP now! You could be worth billions!

Well, if king can find another game to poach and rip off there might be a return on their investment. I cannot imagine there being too much more blood to wring out of the Candy Crush stone. Still they only need maintain their profit margin for the next 10 months to break even.

I don't play Hearthstone but I have to wonder if Activision is going to take any cues from these vampires on f2p models for it or any future games of that nature.

next up will be Activision trademarking the words "call" and "duty" to "protect their trademarks" from anybody who might besmirch their beloved cash cow.

Darker truth about this is that this is pcoket change for Activision Blizzard, people keep chuckling at wow loosing subscribers but they keep making record profits. And CoD will make Activision more crazy money this year like every year. So in all honesty the people at A-B know what they're doing and mostly likely will make even more money from this some how, they're gaming's biggest beast and we should fear them and what they'll do next.

All I hope is they let Banner Saga copyright their name now as that was the only thing that really pissed me off about King and it's Candy Crush Saga.

Yopaz:

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.

it gets worse. all if theri games are insanely porofitable. so much so that given enough time activision may very well earn back the money. assuming it wont just die like angry birds did.

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

crush candy to earn exp.

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

no, its only one of the most popular and profitable games in the world.

Strazdas:

Yopaz:

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.

it gets worse. all if theri games are insanely porofitable. so much so that given enough time activision may very well earn back the money. assuming it wont just die like angry birds did.

Yeah, King is great at what they do, so it will be really interesting to see whether or not they will turn a profit from this. Low budget games that earns a lot of money. It might fizzle away like Angry Birds so it's not a completely safe bet at that price. It seems plausible that this will turn out successful though.

Well that is one way of killing a mobile competitor...

Strazdas:

it gets worse. all if theri games are insanely porofitable. so much so that given enough time activision may very well earn back the money. assuming it wont just die like angry birds did.

I died when I saw the trailer for The Angry Birds Movie

RaikuFA:

Ldude893:
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.

They also tried to copyright saga then sued the makers of the Banner Saga for having Saga in their name.

Congratulations, Activition! You just aquired the EA of mobile gaming!

Ldude893:
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.

I was about to say, it sounds like you're describing Activision perfectly... Until the trademark point...

And even then, it's worse than just "Candy" and "King" because of the issue vs The Banner Saga over, well, "Saga"

Who knows, maybe they'll try to trademark "Crush" too and make all the juice companies change their naming conventions... HA!

But yeah, whoever said they should buy King had a relatively alright idea. (After all, mobile games are where it's at, apparently)
The one who said yes to almost 6 billion dollars, however, did not.

To bad it wasn't EA because King is one company I'd like to see get the EA treatment, IE being bought up, milked to oblivion, and then cast aside.

LordMonty:
Darker truth about this is that this is pcoket change for Activision Blizzard, people keep chuckling at wow loosing subscribers but they keep making record profits. And CoD will make Activision more crazy money this year like every year. So in all honesty the people at A-B know what they're doing and mostly likely will make even more money from this some how, they're gaming's biggest beast and we should fear them and what they'll do next.

All I hope is they let Banner Saga copyright their name now as that was the only thing that really pissed me off about King and it's Candy Crush Saga.

Don't worry. The armchair investors will insist this is the deathknell for Activision, and they'll completely ignore it. They'll keep ignoring the WoW subs, Starcraft, Hearthstone (Blizzard has always been a significant part of Activisions sales), the fact that CoD continues to be profitable, if less popular, and that these guys are one of the biggest in the business.

Hmmm, so it's assholes together now? A match made in heaven or...somewhere. Can we just give them both the finger and move on?

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

The only time I care about it is when I'm rolling my eyes at how annoying their commercials are.

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