So Activision Blizzard has purchased Candy Crush Saga developer King Digital Entertainment for a staggering, eye-watering, mind-bending, unbelievable $5.9 BILLION ! So I guess the question everyone is asking is, why?
Activision are quoted as saying that they wanted to broaden their reach and be a leader in Gaming on PC, Console and Mobile, which fits with history. The Activision Blizzard merger brought together World of Warcraft and Call of Duty, the “top” games on PC and Console. But $5.9 Billion for a company that is currently a one hit wonder seems like a bit much.
Mobile gaming for the last few years was lauded as the next big thing that would kill console gaming stone dead. With the release of PS4 and Xbox One that theory was proved to be way off the mark, both are outselling the previous generation by a huge margin and are continuing to sell extremely well. While the ever predicted drop in Call of Duty’s popularity and sales is still to materialise.
There is no arguing that mobile gaming has grown and has become an important part of gaming culture in people’s everyday lives, it has and that is simply a fact. So it makes perfect sense for a company like Activision to want to find an easy way to tap into that market.
So where do Activision see the $5.9 billion value? A micro-transaction system that they can get into every game, buying respawns in CoD when you are Out of Lives… as suggested by Ross. Ownership of a good development team that have made one massive hit and several other games that haven’t managed to recreate the success of Candy Crush. Or maybe they just need the word Saga for an upcoming game and this was the only way to buy the trademark?
I’d love to hear from them, where they think the value lies. Maybe they will let us know.
“Video game publishers are moving from the physical sale of games to digital growth…”
So far so good, that’s a trend that’s been ongoing for several years in several mediums, not just games. The problem comes in the second half of the sentence.
“…as consumers move from consoles to playing on smartphones and tablets”
As I said earlier, there is no arguing that mobile gaming on phones and tablets has grown and become very important but to say people are moving away from consoles simply isn’t backed up by the evidence. The sales numbers alone compared to the previous generation shows that. PS4 is almost at 30 million units sold in under 2 years.
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