Activision to Acquire King Digital Mobile Games IP for $6B
Activision, already the largest and most successful interactive entertainment publisher in the business, fortifies its market position mightily with the move.Activision Blizzard, publisher of such highly successful console video games as Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, revealed Nov. 2 that it will purchase King Digital Entertainment, creator of Candy Crush Saga, for $5.9 billion. Activision, already the largest and most successful interactive entertainment publisher in the business, fortifies its market position mightily with the move. A major gap in its portfolio was lack of a significant number of successful mobile games, so the addition of King Digital fills that need immediately. Santa Monica, Calif.-based Activision Blizzard has one notable mobile presence in the U.S.: Hearthstone, a PC and mobile game that the company claims has more than 25 million players. However, that game is nowhere in the ballpark of the Candy Crush player base; King Digital claimed 474 million monthly active users in Q3 2015. Dublin, Ireland-based King Digital has reported annual revenues of $2.2 billion, of which approximately 80 percent are from mobile games.
Activision Blizzard also created and distributes the Destiny, Guitar Hero, and Skylanders titles. However, the company was slow to market with mobile games for smartphones and tablets. Mobile games spending, according to market researcher IHS Technology, will total $32 billion in 2015; in fact, mobile games are the largest mobile content category and also now comprise the largest games audience worldwide.