Tasty! Activision snaps up Candy Crush maker King for $5.9 billion

Activision Blizzard is paying a tidy sum for King's nearly half a billion mobile gamers.


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Is the Candy Crush Saga really worth more than the Star Wars saga? Activision Blizzard recently announced it would acquire King Digital Entertainment, makers of Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion.

That price is more than double the $2.5 billion that Microsoft paid to buy Mojang, creators of Minecraft, and well past Disney’s $4 billion charge to pick-up Lucasfilm, a.k.a. Star Wars.

When all is said and done Activision says the combined company will own one of the largest global entertainment networks. Activision already has the highly successful Call of Duty franchise to its credit, as well as Blizzard hits like World of Warcraft and Diablo III—not to mention the Starcraft franchise.

What King brings to Activision is a large inroad with mobile device users. Between July and September 2015, King said it had 474 million monthly active users. That’s thanks largely to the Candy Crush franchise, which is one of the top grossing games on mobile alongside Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Machine Zone’s Game of War: Fireage. King also recently cut a deal with Microsoft to pre-install Candy Crush Saga on all new Windows 10 machines. So far, however, all we’ve seen is a Candy Crush tile on the Start menu that prompts your PC to start downloading the game from the Windows Store.

“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,” Actvision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a written statement announcing the acquisition.

The impact on you at home: Breathe easy Candy Crush fans: your sweet, juicy, delicious game where fish inexplicably fly through the air and munch candy isn’t going to disappear. However, you might start seeing a few ads for Activision and Blizzard games inside the app. Activision hopes to use its acquisition to “grow and cross-promote” its various gaming titles across all platforms. Who knows? Maybe this also means King will come out with World of Warcraft: Azeroth Saga in the not too distant future.

Activision expects to gain regulatory approval for the deal by Spring 2016.

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