Activision To Acquire Candy Crush’s King Digital For $5.9 Billion


When you consider the success of Activision, one doesn’t typically think of their gaming lineup to go beyond the PC and console gaming platforms. Yes, Activision Blizzard did stumble into resounding success with Hearthstone, but outside of that, their mobile gaming department has been really lacking. In a games industry where mobile content is roughly at a $20 billion valuation worldwide, it only makes sense that Activision devotes a serious interest into that realm. That’s where King Digital Entertainment comes in.

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Right as Activision prepares their formal quarterly financial results, the games giant has announced they are set to acquire the creators of Candy Crush, King Digital Equipment, for an outstanding $5.9 billion. King shareholders will receive $18 per share, which represents a 20% premium over their closing price as of October 30, 2015. King will continue as an “Independent Operating Unit” within Activision, with CEO Riccardo Zacconi, CCO Sebastian Knutsson and COO Stephane Kurgan staying on at their current roles.

To put the deal into perspective, Amazon purchased the games streaming network, Twitch TV, for just under $1 billion late last year. Facebook acquired Oculus Rift at a $2 billion valuation, which included cash and shares of Facebook stock. Microsoft bought the rights to Minecraft and Mojang for $2.5 billion. All three of those acquisitions in dollars still fail to add up to how much Activision is ponying up for the rights to King’s near dozen “saga” titles, most of which operate under the match-3, tile-swapping variety.

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Considering the success that King has made for themselves operating out of Dublin, Ireland within the mobile gaming space, it’s hard to imagine the expanded possibilities that come with the Activision library of iconic and classic IP’s. The Skylanders series is selling like hotcakes on its own, but a line of mobile and Facebook games that include Spyro, Warcraft, Transformers and other properties has to be the main attraction in this acquisition for Activision and its shareholders.