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Activision Blizzard Will Pay $5.9 Billion For Candy Crush Maker

Edit: Shenzhen OK Biotech Technology Co., Ltd. (SZOB)    Date: Nov 03, 2015

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Activision Blizzard will pay $5.9 billion for Candy Crush maker

One of the largest names in video games has made a huge move to beef up its mobile gaming division.


Activition Blizzard announced Monday it plans to pay a handsome $5.9 billion to acquire King Digital Entertainment, the creator of the popular game Candy Crush Saga.


Activision will keep King independent, led by its current CEO Riccardo Zacconi. The new parent will get King at $18 a share — a deal, compared with the $22.50 per share for King's initial public offering last year.


SEE ALSO: 6 games for when you’re ready to level up beyond 'Candy Crush'


The price tag of $5.9 billion is a massive sum to pay for King, which has in recent years struggled to maintain its reign over mobile gamers. Since the success of Candy Crush Saga, which has topped charts for years since its debut in 2011, King hasn't been able to produce an equivalent title.


The company has produced some 200 titles, but none have surpassed Candy Crush.


In May this year, it admitted that the number of paying players had dropped to 8.52 million, from 11.86 million the year before. Its earnings were down to $604 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared with $641 million in 2014.


Still, King commands the attention of some 340 million monthly active players, making it one of the world's biggest mobile publishers.


Activision, on the other hand, is a multi-billion dollar stalwart of the bigger world of traditional video games, covering desktop and console titles, and rivals firms like Electronic Arts (EA). Activision owns blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty and the World of Warcraft series, which it acquired after a $9.8 billion merger in 2008 with Blizzard Entertainment owner Vivendi.


With the growth of mobile gaming, Activision has started to take this segment seriously. Currently, mobile games already contribute 11% of its revenue, similar to EA, which makes 12% from mobile.


In recent years, Activision has been decidedly more cautious in the mobile space, tapping on its tried-and-tested franchises like Call of Duty for its mobile offerings.


With its new acquisition of King, however, it appears Activision is ready to make a big, bold step into the world of mobile games.


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