Activision-Blizzard and King Digital Entertainment have released a joint statement announcing that Activision-Blizzard has acquired the mobile development company. King is most famous for Candy Crush Saga and has released numerous successful mobile titles under the free-to-play business model. Activision-Blizzard acquired the company at $18 per share for a total of $5.9 billion. It doesn’t appear that any major changes will take place at King following the acquisition as the statement makes clear that King will still operate independently and that Chief Executive Officer Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson, and Chief Operating Officer Stephane Kurgan will retain their positions within King as prior. Along with profiting from the emerging mobile market in general, a major motivation for the acquisition appears to be bringing Activision and Blizzard’s IP’s to mobile as the statement puts a fair deal of emphasis on franchises owned by the companies. You can read the full joint statement here.
While Activision and Blizzard are major names among core gamers, King is far from revered with the same crowd. Along with the general bias often held against mobile games, King stirred up controversy last year when it filed lawsuits against smaller studios using the words ‘candy’ or ‘saga’ in their titles, including a “Notice of Opposition” against Stoic for their viking-based strategy-RPG The Banner Saga. It seems unlikely that fans of Call of Duty, Diablo, or the like would be too excited about any mobile spin-offs with King’s name on them.
What are your thoughts on Activision, Blizzard, and King joining forces? Are there any franchises you would like to see or dread seeing worked on by King? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.