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Candy Crush Saga Maker King Looking for Sweet Deal in Going Public

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 04:15 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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The company that created Candy Crush Saga, Facebook’s No. 1 game, is preparing to go public, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

King, formly King.com, owns Candy Crush along with other Internet games, and through its holding company has been talking with banks about carrying out its U.S. initial public offering, or IPO.

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King CEO Riccardo Zacconi mentioned a possible IPO in the past, CNET reported, but it wasn’t until this week that bank negotiations showed a possible deal in the works. King has not commented on the IPO possibility.

Candy Crush Saga is popular on Facebook but also as a mobile game, which game makers say is where the players are. But despite the game’s undoubtedly sweet appeal, another social media game company, Zynga, didn’t do so well after it went public.

But Candy Crush Saga holds appeal as a mobile game and not just a Facebook game, which has been a challenge for some other companies. Research firm App Annie estimates Candy Crush generates more revenue than any other mobile game, according to a WSJ Heard on the Street article.

Other mobile game developers are doing well in the global market, particularly GungHo Online Entertainemnt, which created “Puzzle & Dragons” in the Japanese market. That company is expected to see revenue rise by more than 600 percent to $1.95 billion in 2013, the WSJ reported.

King released a Japanese version of Candy Crush Saga recently.

WSJ reporter Rolfe Winkler warned investors to be wary of jumping on the King bandwagon, should the company go public, particularly in light of what happened to Zynga. That company’s stock is down 82 percent from its March 2012 high.

The key is to keep those popular games coming, something that Zynga struggled to do. King recently released Pet Rescue Saga, which is showing some possibilities for growth.

Ubergizmo reported that more than 66 million people play King games around the world every day, most due to Candy Crush Saga’s popularity. The game was just launched in November, too, so it may continuing growing.

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