History has just been made. In a surprising turn of events, Activision announced their acquisition of King Digital, or better known as the team behind Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion. That’s not a typo, that’s billion with a b. I know, it sounds insane. Here’s what Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick had to say about their latest lofty investment:
“Mobile gaming is the largest and fastest-growing opportunity for interactive entertainment and we will have one of the world’s most successful mobile game companies and its talented teams providing great content to new customers, in new geographies throughout the world.”
As cringe-worthy as the mobile gaming spiel may seem, the mobile platform has proven to be lucrative for many companies. I guess what’s truly shocking is the dollar figure. Sure, Activision has the right to spend their money how they see fit, but $6 billion seems excessive. Just for comparison, Microsoft purchased the Minecraft team, Mojang, for $2 billion. This deal makes that one seem like a bargain.
Here are some more recent acquisitions in the cultural phenomenon realm to give you a clearer perspective of how significant this deal is. Disney payed a whopping $4 billion for Marvel, and then almost the identical amount for Lucasfilm, aka Star Wars. Ex-Microsoft man, Steve Balmer, payed $2 billion for the LA Clippers. So, you could have your pick of Star Wars/Marvel and an NBA team for about the same amount of clams as what Activision forked over for Kings Digital.
Obviously, Activision has brilliant people figuring out the numbers, so I’m sure they have huge plans for this team going forward. It just sets a strange precedent for the value of developers.
Acquisitions are nothing new to the business. Publishers like to add several groups to their stable all the time; this deal just seems so out of the blue.
What do you think about this deal? What do you expect Activision will do with the studio? Let us know in the comments below.