Activision Blizzard Buys Candy Crush!

Activision Blizzard has today announced that they plan to purchase King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion!

King Digital Entertainment is most famous for their mobile games Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda, two of the top five highest grossing mobile games of the past year. Activision‘s acquisition of the shares into King Digital Entertainment comes at a significant premium — the company had a market cap of approx $4.9 billion before the deal was announced. Here is a brief excert of the press release:

“Activision Blizzard believes that the addition of King’s highly-complementary business will position Activision Blizzard as a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms, and positions the company for future growth.”

There is no doubt that the Candy Crush games generate significant revenue, but I don’t quite understand the need for Activision to purchase such a company. Maybe they have ideas for how they can incorporate some of their existing games into a mobile space…

Staying with Activision and Destiny continues to go from strength to strength. As part of Activision’s latest earnings report, it was revealed that 25 million people have played Destiny, up from 20 million in May. The 20% increase can largely be attested to the release of Destiny: The Taken King in September. It was also revealed that Destiny players are, on average, playing three hours per day. No matter what people may think of Destiny, myself included, you can’t take anything away from the success of the title. I expect Destiny to be around for a long time, it is the next Call Of Duty.

Is it possible that Konami are already planning the next Metal Gear Solid? Well according to the print edition of Nekkei, as translated by Kotaku, that is exactly what Konami is currently considering. According to the report, a representative of Konami is quoted as saying that “when we start development, a large-scale investment will become necessary.” Based on the success of The Phantom Pain, it would surprise me if another entry in the stealth series wasn’t forthcoming. The main issue that interest me is how Metal Gear fairs without Kojima. There was no mention of Kojima in the report, but the last official word was that Kojima is on vacation.

Last week we spoke about how Sony had abandoned first party development for the Vita. However, Shuhei Yoshida has moved to clarify exactly the situation for the company’s handheld platform. In an interview at last week’s Paris Games Week, Yoshida said:

“I’ve been pretty honest saying our focus has shifted to PS4 and PlayStation VR, it’s not like we don’t have any development at all. We do, but our focus is on PS4 and PlayStation VR, and we are happy to see third-parties and indies support it.”

When asked about Vita development continuing to progress in 2016 Yoshida added, “yeah I do, but we have to see.” I don’t think any of this is surprising news, it is pretty obvious where Sony’s focus is right now. I wish there was more support for the Vita, or the handheld gaming space in general, but I understand that it doesn’t make business sense right now.

That’s it for today.

Matt