Saturday , 20 April 2019
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Activision buys Candy Crush Saga publisher King for $5.9B

One of the biggest publishers of traditional games in the world now also owns one of the biggest mobile-game makers.

Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Candy Crush Saga now all belong to Activision after the publisher spent $5.9 billion to acquire King Digital, the company best known for Candy Crush and Farm Hero games. This means that Activision paid $18 per share — or a 20-percent premium over King’s closing price on October 30 — to acquire the mobile behemoth. This purchase should help Activision diversify its business. It was already making a push into mobile and free-to-play, but this move instantly adds a number of high-profile and lucrative hit games. Now, instead of trying to build mobile games that appeal to a global audience, it can just use what King has already created.

“The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment,” Activision Blizzard chief executive officer Bobby Kotick said in a canned statement. “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.”

While Kotick points out that this puts Activision well ahead of its primary competition of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft, he will also let King continue to operate as a separate subsidiary under the leadership of chief executive officer Riccardo Zacconi, chief creative officer Sebastian Knutsson, and chief operating officer Stephane Kurgan.

“Riccardo, Sebastian, and Stephane are some of the best minds in the business,” said Kotick. “Activision 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.”

Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming console… read more »

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, … read more »

King is a leading interactive entertainment company for the mobile world, with people all around the world playing one or more King games. King has more than 190 fun titles in over 200 countries. Hits include Candy Crush Saga, Farm Her… read more »

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