Activision Blizzard has just dropped $5.9 billion on Candy Crush studio King Digital Entertainment. To put that into context, Disney paid a measly $4 billion on Lucasfilm in 2012. Yes, Candy Crush is apparently more lucrative than Star Wars.
How lucrative? According to a CNN report last year, King “reported annual revenue of $1.9 billion and a profit of about $568 million”. That puts Activision in a pretty good position to eventually make a gain on their purchase, assuming the general public’s affection for match three mobile games doesn’t plummet over the next few years.
King will operate as a subsidiary, so its current leadership line-up will stay the same. â€œRiccardo [Zacconi], Sebastian [Knutsson], and Stephane [Kurgan] are some of the best minds in the business,â€ Kotick said in a statement. â€œActivision Blizzard will provide King with experience, support, and investment to continue to build on their tremendous legacy and reach new potential. We share an unwavering commitment to attracting and developing the best talent in the business, and we are excited about what we will be able to accomplish together.â€
“The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment,” Kotick continued. “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.”
I suppose it’s good news for Activision, because they stand to make even more money. As for us lowly consumers, we can only hope for a Candy Crush / Call of Duty crossover one day. The acquisition won’t be finalised until it has the approval of both the Irish government and King Digital’s shareholders, but assuming that happens, King will join the Activision Blizzard family by mid next year.