Candy Crush Maker King Files For U.S. IPO

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The studio behind addictive matching puzzle game Candy Crush has begun the process of filing for its U.S. IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Re/Code reports. The UK company will look to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ‘KING’ ticker symbol should everything go according to plan.

Last year, Candy Crush was the top earning title on any mobile platform according to mobile app analytics firm Distimo, since it occupied a top spot on both iOS and Android all year. Candy Crush was released halfway through 2012, but it has managed to retain much of its momentum since then, which is impressive in the fickle casual games market. As Re/Code points out, however, King’s revenue declined between the third and fourth quarters of 2013, so it may need its next hit to come along sooner rather than later.

Currently, however, King’s games bring in 1.2 billion daily plays from 128 million daily active users according to the most recent numbers from the company, of which 73 percent come from mobile devices. Candy Crush has definitely been a defining moment for the company, but it has been in the casual games business since 2003, and in its IPO King cites its massive built-in player network (which includes 324 million monthly active users in total) as a key competitive advantage.

Still, it’s hard to deny that Candy Crush has been the overwhelmingly dominant source of growth for King. In its IPO documents, the company reveals that it apparently grew from a profit loss of $1 million in the first quarter of 2012, to a profit gain of $269 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The company is looking to raise $500 million with this IPO according to its filing.

King admits in its list of potential risk factors that “a small number of games currently generate a substantial majority of our revenue,” and that even developing new games could just recirculate its existing audience instead of growing a new one, but also says it plans to strengthen its new game and intellectual property development pipeline, and expand its existing titles to new platform and geographies to retain its competitive edge.