Activision Blizzard Becomes "Largest Game Network in the World" With Candy Crush Dev Buyout

Call of Duty, World of Warcraft company adds another huge franchise to its stable.

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Activision Blizzard, already one of the largest gaming publishers in the business, has now grown further. The company today announced that it's completed its acquisition of Candy Crush developer King Digital Entertainment. The company paid $18 for each outstanding share, for a total buyout price of $5.9 billion.

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Activision Blizzard originally announced its intention to acquire King back in November 2015, at which time it said it expected the deal to be finalized by spring 2016.

According to Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, with the acquisition of King, the company's games now reach over 500 million users. This is the "largest game network in the world," he said.

"We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favorite franchises, from Candy Crush to World of Warcraft to Call of Duty and more, across mobile devices, consoles, and personal computers," Kotick said in a statement.

For his part, King CEO Riccardo Zacconi said, "We are thrilled to now be a part of Activision Blizzard and can't wait to start working together. I want to thank everyone at King for all of their hard work since we founded the company 13 years ago. We are excited about the future as we continue developing more exciting games and explore new ways to serve our players and build on the greatest franchises in interactive entertainment."

Though King is now owned by Activision Blizzard, the company will operate independently under the direction of Zacconi. Additionally, King chief creative officer Sebastian Knutsson and chief operating officer Stephane Kurgan are retaining their positions.

With King now a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, the company's shares are no longer publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The acquisition extends Activision Blizzard's portfolio of games, which already included the aforementioned Call of Duty and World of Warcraft juggernauts. Other notable Blizzard franchises include Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and Overwatch, as well as Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero, Skylanders, and Destiny.

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rdwolf260

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I have to say I've never played Candy Crush and know of only a few people who actually played the game and they never spent any money for it. Considering Activision is at the helm, this is where I see it heading.

Every year there will be a "new" Candy Crush game starting with Candy Crush II this September. The price will go from "free" to $9.99 on mobile phones and $49.99 on consoles, it'll still be free to play on Facebook though. Every 3 months they will release 4 new theme packs that change your candy icons and background images and sounds. Each theme pack will set you back additional $4.99 on mobile phones and $9.99 on consoles...Facebook users will have to pay $29.99 for each theme pack. Oh, and there will be a Candy Crush Companion app available for $14.99/year subscription cost which will allow you to track all your statistics in the game and see how you compare against other players.

Does this sum things up?

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bassfrek1987

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At what point do antitrust regulations kick in?

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hystavito

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@bassfrek1987: A point far away :)

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Thanatos2k

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I hope they never make their money back.

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Eageron_Games

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@Thanatos2k: Besides they never made it to generate another hit game like Candy Crush Saga. I think Candy Crush Soda was pretty big but the rest didn't really pull.

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PETERAKO

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Edited By PETERAKO

@Thanatos2k: Dont worry they wont. Candy crush was already in dicline when they bought out king.

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Avatar image for lostn
lostn

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Who was the #1 before this?

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Artwark

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Atleast they aren't anywhere as evil as EA......atleast. :P

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lostn

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@Artwark: You kidding? See what they did to the Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero franchises.. drove them into the ground. Brought them back with some very shitty releases to pile more dirt onto them.

What about the way they screwed Infinity Ward over?

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Artwark

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@lostn: Evil as in buying companies and shutting them down? Or not making as much cash grabs as Battlefront?

But still, you're right. There really is no point defending Activison.

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MichaelSosa8

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How is CCS still making money? Are the people who play it that dumb to buy those packs from them? Why not just play a modded version of that game. I play nothing but modded games on my phone, I ain't spending a dime on mobile gaming, f#ck that shit. If you pay money for a 5 dollar game where it would cost you 1000's or more to have all the content in the game, you are f#cking garbage.

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LouiXIII

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The guys at King are some happy campers.

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NL_Skipper

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Oh boy, I think this is the first sign of the gaming apocalypse... maybe not, but it's scary all the same!

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RoccoHout

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Edited By RoccoHout

Good, the more reason for me to stay away from this game.

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Paulf001

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WoW almost 6 billion for such a horrible game

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gamerboy100

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Too bad EA didn't buy them and shut them down.

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Eageron_Games

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@gamerboy100: Haha! It would have fit EA also purchasing King! True words! :)

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santinegrete

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Edited By santinegrete

Well, activision can destroy this aberration if you ask me. :)

Kinda wish they came back to Prototype and Singularity.

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gamingdevil800

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Call Of Destiny: Candy SAGA

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deactivated-5893d17ed65b4

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Wish GameSpot would quit allowing the Candy Crush mobile advertising to redirect me to King's marketing. It gets old having to hit back twice to be able to read an article here.

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nurnberg

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Nice priorities Activision. They spent more on this crappy company than all of Blizzard games put together.

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deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

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And also the worst.

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archav3n

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$5.9B for candy crush? Oh my.. i'm not sure that's a smart move. Are corporate investors smart these days?

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lostn

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@archav3n: It was more a case of clever accounting. They had about 10 billion off shore that they couldn't take back to the states without paying half of it in tax. So they spent a good chunk of it buying King which would not be considered profits, so no tax incurred on that. They felt they got a good deal considering taxes they avoid paying.

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SkyHighGam3r

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WOW (No pun intended)

3 of the most horrible and derivative series all under one roof... You know what... good for them for keeping garbage with garbage, they deserve each other.

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lostn

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@skyhighgam3r: Starcraft 2 is good. The rest of their stuff I can live without. But I'm obviously in the minority since those games sell well.

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SkyHighGam3r

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@lostn: Right? People LOVE their games for whatever reason. I never played StarCraft 2 but the first one wasn't for me. I'm not a big RTS fan though... the only one I got into was Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2.

That game was legit.

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derceto

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How sad.

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atopp399

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That will never pay off.

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o311rocks

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Hopefully they keep Candy Crush crossover stuff to a minimum. I say minimum because you know at least once they will throw some Candy Crush stuff into a Diablo update or some kinda Heroes of the Storm weekend event.

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Oddsnake

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Warcraft Candy Crush. I'd buy that for a dollar.

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BabeNewelll

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Can crush isn't even a game though

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xcollector

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Activision has the worst game portfolio. I haven't bought any Activision game since last gen.

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wtf_666

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That's a great addition to your portfolio Activision!! Candy Crush! What's next, acquiring Kardashian "gaming" company?

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Artwark

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@wtf_666: Even better, buy Rovio for non stop Angry birds.

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_Plaguelight_

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@Artwark: Call of Birds: Angry Duty

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