Activision Announces Insane Deal for Candy Crush Developer
Game publishing heavyweight Activision has made major waves this week by confirming the acquisition of Candy Crush development studio King Digital
Over the past couple of years we've seen some pretty zany acquisition deals, but we figured it was going to be pretty tough for anyone to top Facebook's purchase of the incredibly talented, although incredibly unproven, Oculus VR - a deal that promises to put virtual reality for the masses on the fast track to major success. Well, it looks like we were wrong, because Call of Duty and Destiny publisher Activision has gone and blown that deal out of the water, making it look practically sensible in the process.
For a studio that's made its name from big budget franchises that are synonymous with the modern gaming industry, it's initially quite a shock to the system to see that Activision has not only acquired King Digital Entertainment, the studio behind the riotously successful casual mobile game Candy Crush Saga, but that it has also paid a staggering $5.9bn in the process. That's not a typo, by the way, that's ACTUALLY billions.
In a statement released yesterday, Activision Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick said:
"We continue to benefit from our focus on creating the world's best interactive entertainment. Our incredibly talented employees around the world once again delivered great content and strong financial results. Mobile gaming is the largest and fastest-growing opportunity for interactive entertainment and we will have one of the world's most successful mobile game companies and its talented teams providing great content to new customers, in new geographies throughout the world. King has a truly fantastic management team and over 1,600 incredibly talented employees and we are excited to welcome them into the Activision Blizzard family."
Quite what is to be made of this move remains to be seen, but it further confirms just how much faith the industry is putting into the mobile market, despite the fact that relatively few games manage to break even, never mind make substantial profits. That said, however, it's easy to see why it remains such an attractive proposition given the upwardly spiraling cost of modern blockbuster console games compared to the low development costs of mobile game (and the attractiveness of microtransactions).