Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5 billion. But for Notch’s onetime employers King, that would just about cover the deposit. Activision Blizzard are to pay $5.9 billion to acquire the architects of Candy Crush Saga.
King reported annual profits of $575m in February - and at that rate Kotick and co. are looking at half a decade before breaking even. But Activision hope the numbers will get better still, pointing out that mobile gaming as a whole is expected to accrue over $36 billion by the end of this year.
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There’s a new audience to think about too. Kotick told Reuters that buying King will help Activision reach the mobile developer’s 60% female audience - perhaps mindful of Call of Duty’s Replacer ads, which invariably offered to take poor young men away from domestic responsibility.
“You have such broad reach [with King],” said the Activision overlord. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to create compelling content for new demographics.”
As with other, similar deals, Activision have made use of a big chunk of offshore cash. Apparently the acquisition will see their 2016 revenue and earnings increase by about 30% - although King’s candy hasn’t proven particular moreish for investors since the company went public in March.
In maybe more pertinent ActiBlizz news, BlizzCon 2015 is a-happening this weekend. Our Ben will be on the ground, painting his face in Warcraft movie warpaint. Think you’ll be watching the opening ceremony stream?