Baku, November 4 AZERTAC
One of the oldest names in video games plans to buy a company that has kept mobile users fingers busy for more than three years. Activision Blizzard has announced it will purchase King Digital Entertainment, the maker of "Candy Crush," for US$5.9 billion (NZ$9b).
If approved, the new gaming empire - which will include not just "Candy Crush," but incredibly popular franchises such as "Call of Duty," "World of Warcraft," and "Guitar Hero" - will solidify Activision's "position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment" with more that 500 million monthly users, according to its chief executive.
King, with a market capitalization of under $5 billion, went public just last year. Though it owns more than 200 titles, it is best known for "Candy Crush," in which players match candies to achieve a short-lived sense of personal accomplishment.
Activision - founded in 1979, a third-party maker of games for Atari, among many other videogame systems - will pay shareholders $18 per share for King. Though King is based in Ireland, tax inversion - through which many companies, such as Pfizer, buy foreign firms to save tax dollars - is not part of the proposed deal.
Activision's business, valued at more than $25 billion, has been doing quite well.