Activision Blizzard Buys Out King Digital Entertainment
November 10, 2015 Leave a comment
King Digital Entertainment, the company which created the wildly popular mobile games Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga, was recently purchased by Activision Blizzard, the company responsible for Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard now owns three of the most popular, mostly widely played video games in the entire world. But acquiring King Digital did cost them $5.9 billion.
To put that into context: Microsoft only paid $2.2 billion for Mojang, the company that makes Minecraft, and Electronic Arts only paid $750 million for PopCap, who created Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled, the game that Candy Crush is, nominally, a rip-off of. Disney didn’t even pay that much to buy LucasArts.
So it’s a pretty huge deal and one which will give Activision Blizzard access to more than half a billion active users in 196 countries. That’s a huge audience, which is a good deal for them, because those are people who are going to be more willing to try their other games, and more likely to pay attention to new titles from the same company.
Of course, the video game industry keeps getting smaller with acquisitions like this, and that has some gamers and publishers worried. Like television, newspapers, or book publishing, there are an increasingly small number of giants who have all the power, while small companies keep springing up to publish titles that wouldn’t get made elsewhere. Until those titles become wild successes and the company gets bought out.
Being owned by Activision Blizzard likely won’t change Candy Crush or King’s other games very much, though it will make it easier to develop new titles. At the same time though, it will mean those new titles will need more appeal from the beginning in order to get approved and developed in the first place. After all, Activision didn’t get big enough to buy King by trying new things, but by hitting on a model people liked, like Call of Duty, and running with it.