99 cents for five lives? $1.99 for a bomb cooler? That’s nothing. Nothing! Activision Blizzard is spending $5.9 billion (that’s with a “B”) on Candy Crush Saga. Activision announced the purchase of King Digital Entertainment, the company behind the free-to-play mobile title. The deal is subject to approval in Ireland, where King is based, but the acquisition is expected to go through by early 2016. Since the publisher already owns some of the largest gaming franchises on the planet, why do they need Candy Crush? CEO Bobby Kotick explained the purchase to investors.
The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment. 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.
Current King CEO Riccardo Zacconi will be staying with the company under the terms of the deal, as will CCO Sebastian Knutsson and COO Stephane Kurgan. King’s shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash per share when the deal is completed.