Activision to buy Candy Crush maker King for $5.9 Billion

3 min read

The taken king saga

Mergers and acquisitions are fairly standard in any industry. Facebook bought the Oculus Rift for $2 billion, Microsoft bought Mojang for $2.5 billion – the numbers are massive but we are kind of used to weird bed fellows when companies combine in gaming. But of course Activision-Blizzard had to take things to a whole new level when buying King.

It has been announced that Activision-Blizzard will be picking up King Digital Entertainment (the mobile company behind Candy Crush Saga) for a cool $5.9 billion. With a purchase price of $18 per share implying a 20% premium over King’s 30 October 2015 closing price, this is a rather good deal for the mobile giant, assuming it is passed by all the competition boards and gets shareholding approval – although at that price I doubt shareholders will get in the way. Let’s just put this in amount in perspective, though.

  • $1 billion = Facebook acquisition of Instagram
  • $1.65 billion = Google acquisition of YouTube
  • $2 billion = Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift
  • $2.5 billion = Microsoft acquisition of Mojang
  • $4 billion = Disney acquisition of Star Wars
  • $5.83 billion = Activision purchase of independence from Vivendi

Why would the two massive companies want to get into bed with each other? Well, according to the strategic rationale included in the press release about the merger, it’s all part of Activision-Blizzard’s growth plan. This merger will extend their reach into 196 countries and instantly make Activision-Blizzard a global leader in mobile gaming. Obviously, when combined with existing franchises, we can expect to see huge growth across a range of genres and platforms – Call of Duty Saga, here we come. Plus, both companies are incredibly profitable and will open new markets to each other; it really is a business “no brainer”.

Not mentioned in the strategic plan, although definitely something that was considered, is that this merger will open up new tax and subsidy opportunities. While many believe that Ireland (where King is registered) is a tax haven, it technically isn’t, although it comes pretty close with generous tax benefits, particularly in comparison to other countries in Europe or the US. Plus, the new conglomerate should be able to take advantage of both US and EU subsidies for game development. Sure, they are dishing out a ton of money for this acquisition now, but Bobby Kottick and co. aren’t idiots – I’m sure they will recoup that cost rather quickly.

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I don’t really mind these kinds of mergers. It’s not like I care much about what happens to King, as long as they aren’t allowed to touch Hearthstone. Now, who wants to bet that we’ll finally get to see the match-three Warcraft game we’ve always wanted? Really though – I wonder if this could lead to some intriguing new announcements during Blizzcon; could we see some new pushes on the mobile front from Activision-Blizzard in the coming months and years, or will they keep the companies fairly distinct in their offerings?

Last Updated: November 3, 2015

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • VampyreSquirrel

    That’s a lot of moneys!

  • VampyreSquirrel

    Also, That header is a winner, no matter how bad the photoshop is.

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      INORITE?! sometimes my genius shines through… 😛

      • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

        In your case, less, IS more

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Because you set the transparency wrong? 😉

      • VampyreSquirrel

        It totally does, I think that header is awesome.

  • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

    There there, it will be ok Destiny fans

    • xD

      • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

        So, we farm tonight again, yes?

        Need to get me a critter to apply that nightmare mod to.

        Did you tell Trev about our adventure?

        • Yup, we shall do some laps around the void tonight.

          Less “Adventure” more “O crap survive! don’t die!”

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            Lol yeah, I saw I needed 20 pistol kills, though, yeah cool, lemme do that, shot the first dude, and then WHAM WHERE IS THE BULK OF MY HP????

          • I died right next to you in the first 5 seconds xD

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            I thought some horrible accident occurred

          • Was not really far off from a horrible accident 😛

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            I’ve never had to be revived and had to revive other people so much in one week, let alone in that 10 minutes

          • Was worth the 30K credits and awesome mod in the end xD

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            Lol yeah, I learned a few tricks last night as well

          • Bulletjump all the time!

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            Lol that as well

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            What, did you take him on a T3S?

            We did a few Phorid spawns, I felt kinda bad for those low level infested – 4-Forma Ignis made them well-done.

          • Nope, I kinda accidentally took him into a 10 min Survival Nightmare mission.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            lol. Ja nee, those nightmare missions.

          • Thank glob I was on my EV Trinity

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Ember with Quick Thinking, Rage & Firequake. Light ’em up & knock ’em down.

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            I ASKED him before the mission, should I take my high level gear, “Nooooooo take your low level crap so that you can level it up”
            IT WAS A TRAP!

          • I might have gotten drunk with power since I got my Trinity and super awesome Syndicate gun, and don’t read mission descriptions anymore 😛

          • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

            I need to start doing the Syndicate missions

          • Check out the Warframe Wiki and see what every Syndicate has to offer and take the next step from there 🙂

  • WitWolfy

    I should’ve gone into game design…

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      The feels…..

    • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

      No, should have gone into marketing, almost no work, massive pay

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        You mean like real estate agents?

      • Hammersteyn

        PR services for me. Oh you don’t like MT. Is the DLC too expensive. Muhahahahaha what are you gonna do wee man?

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    COD-themed Candy Crush just for Gavin, they’ll make millions.

    • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

      I think I just heard his credit card scream…

  • Hammersteyn

    WE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE SIGNS! I mean the last week Destiny has had us running around collecting candy. We thought it was for Halloween, we thought wrong!

  • O well, WOW Warlords of Draenor was just a big ol Facebook game in the end (le sigh). This is just the next natural step as far as I can see.

  • Acti-blizz saga shall ensure soon enough….

  • ZA Ludomusicologist

    Ooh… a lost investment for sure!

  • Rock789

    Call of Duty: Candy Crush Edition? Ok… I just threw up a little in my mouth at that thought… **yuck**

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