King Digital Entertainment, the London-based company behind the highly popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga, is likely to become the most valuable British online company to join the stock market, after its initial public offering (IPO) worth $7.6bn (£4.6bn).
Buoyed by the stock market, King Digital’s worth has increased by $2 billion in less than one month. With its current value, King Digital Entertainment would be four times higher than Take-Two Interactive, the developer of Grand Theft Auto. In February, King’s worth was $5.5 billion but the company revealed Wednesday that its shares would be worth $21 and $24 each.
With Candy Crush Saga, King Digital Entertainment’s chief executive Riccardo Zacconi would become a multimillionaire. His 10.4% share is estimated to cost $745 million along with Chairman Melvyn Morris, who has a 12.2% share in the company. The two first worked together at uDate, a Midlands-based matchmaking site, which they sold for $150 million to Interactive Corporation in 2002. Together, King Digital Entertainment’s 11-strong management team could well be valued at almost $2.2 billion.
Making Great Strides
Over the years, King Digital Entertainment has seen tremendous growth and now boasts of having around 324 million users on a monthly basis, majority of which play its games on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is worth noting that more than three-quarters of King Digital Entertainment’s gross revenue is derived from one game- Candy Crush Saga.
At the moment, Candy Crush Saga is the biggest game on the planet. It has achieved more than 50 million Likes on Facebook and has been downloaded more than 10 million times in December 2012 alone. At present, it is the highest grossing app in both Apple and Google Play Store. Approximately more than 45 million people play the game each month.
From December to February, the number of daily active users of Candy Crush jumped from 93 million to 97 million. However, the average number of times it was played daily decreased from 1,085 minutes to 1,065 minutes.
Playing the Game
The objective of the game is for players to form rows of three jellied sweets. Although it can be played for free, users also have the option to pay in order to hasten their progress and overcome the difficult levels. To do this, players need to horizontally or vertically interchange the positions of two adjacent candies to be able to create a set of three or more candies with similar color.
Candy Crush is divided into different and increasingly more challenging levels which players must overcome to progress to the next stage. In each stage, users must meet different requirements in order to complete that level. For instance, a player may have to remove certain ingredients, remove specific candies, or reach a target score.
Candy Crush Saga is played on two versions namely Fcebook or Smartphone. Depending on the version, users will have to play around 500 stages, with new ones being added weekly. Therefore, reaching the last level in Candy Crush is considered as an “ever-moving” objective.
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