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Candy Crush Saga's developer goes public, loses almost $1 billion

Posted: , by Peter K.

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Candy Crush Saga's developer goes public, loses almost $1 billion
King, the developer behind the wildly-popular Candy Crush Saga, went public yesterday, but the price of its shares quickly fell below the $20 mark. The game company hoped to establish a market value of around $7.6 billion via an IPO (initial public offering) and it hoped to sell roughly 22 million shares priced at $22.50. However, the price of King's stocks quickly fell down 16% to $18.90, bringing the game developer's value to roughly $6 billion. The London-based company succeeded in selling just 15.5 million shares during the first day of its IPO, placing it among the worst-performing ones since Twitter went public back in November 2013.

"This was mispriced," claims Arvind Bhatia, an analyst with Sterne Agee. "There are a lot of IPOs in the pipeline so investors are not starving ... and are being picky. Today's action also says investors are not going to ignore fundamentals."

The developer of Candy Crush Saga is the largest game company to go public since Zynga. As a side comparison, the price of Zynga's shares decreased by just 5% on the first day of its initial public offering and the company is currently valued at about $4 billion.

"Once you have a hit, it's hard to make a string of hits. How many bands were the Beatles?," asks Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Also, there've been a lot of high priced IPOs and mergers and acquisitions (of late) and when valuations get frothy, investors get disappointed when returns don't measure up to expectations."

The most sound reason for King's poor performance is the reluctance of investors to put their money in a company, which solely relies on the success of just one high-grossing game – the in-app purchases in Candy Crush Saga generated roughly $600 million for the company in Q4 2013 alone.

source: Reuters

26 Comments
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posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:39 2

1. brar.arsh (Posts: 145; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


Rubbish..

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:40 8

2. drazwy (Posts: 131; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


Oh no! Only 6 billion? What ever will they do?

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:35 2

11. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 854; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


It's only a matter before this app stock bubble pops. These companies are being valued way too highly.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 19:35 1

22. sgtdisturbed47 (Posts: 167; Member since: 02 Feb 2012)


It'll be a few years before that happens though. Even silly, small games can go big and gross millions immediately, because it's very easy to make in-app purchases with debit/credit cards that are stored on-file. The nature of the "easy purchase" makes these games explode.

posted on 28 Mar 2014, 07:12

26. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 854; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


That's true but they don't want warrant billion dollar evaluations. The only app company that can come close to that is rovio because of the licencing deals with the angry birds series.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:42 19

3. Deadeye37 (Posts: 78; Member since: 25 Jan 2011)


Not a big fan of the company due to them trademarking extremely common words like 'candy' and 'saga'. Burn baby burn!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 20:44 1

24. corporateJP (Posts: 1555; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Yeah, these guys are pri**s.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 10:46 12

4. hortizano (Posts: 26; Member since: 22 May 2013)


Yeah, this is laughable.. most of us are worried about making ends meet.. and they are worried about been valued at ONLY 6 billion.. First world problems.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:01 6

5. Lt.Green (Posts: 371; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Serves them right. Egotistic scums.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:05 3

6. Commentator (Posts: 2394; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


What's Candy Crush?

(Seriously, I've never seen how it works. Is it like Bejeweled or something?)

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:13 2

8. ihavenoname (Posts: 1377; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Yeah, pretty much like Bejeweled.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:59

13. gigantos (Posts: 51; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)


You are so serious

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 12:15

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6968; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It's similar to Bejeweled, except you can make combos out of any "same" pieces so long as they're adjacent in some way (as opposed to Bejeweled, where you could only connect combos in the cardinal directions and straight lines.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 13:04

17. hortizano (Posts: 26; Member since: 22 May 2013)


Quickly, someone post this guy a link to it... He might enjoy it...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:12

7. moslondon (Posts: 19; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)


bring it to windows phone...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:28 2

9. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1829; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)


Its a crappy game... Tetris knockoff

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:29 3

10. FoxDavis (Posts: 41; Member since: 12 Jul 2012)


So glad. I deleted from all my devices. I do not care for this company cause the trademark issue.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 11:51 2

12. marbovo (Posts: 641; Member since: 16 May 2013)


Just one game and the company already goes public?!?!

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 12:12 4

14. Sniggly (Posts: 6968; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Honestly, it's a bit of karmic justice considering they stole their entire game concept from an independent developer, then did their best to crush him (no pun intended) when he objected.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 12:13 2

15. LeBrownJames (Posts: 86; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)


A private company who's been doing great should think twice before going public, especially if they only became famous just of few products (or game). Just ask Eike Batista.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 13:25 1

18. xoxoGeorges (Posts: 199; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


That's what they get for adamantly refusing WP.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 13:44 3

19. JMartin22 (limited) (Posts: 973; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


I hope it burns to cinders, they're right up there with Mobage, Gameloft, Glu Mobile and others when it comes to the extreme money pit economics of their microtransaction/in-app purchases. To me, mobile gaming is dead.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 15:14 1

20. xche78x (Posts: 101; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


Is this Karma? Those selfish pricks! Trademarking candy and saga, the greediness must end...

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 19:51 1

23. lyndon420 (Posts: 1733; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they ended up withholding said patents after all - most likely due to all the negative press it generated.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 15:28 2

21. PK1983 (Posts: 171; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


King is a horrible, greedy company with no innovation. Can't wait for them to go the way of Myspace and Zynga.

posted on 27 Mar 2014, 20:48 1

25. corporateJP (Posts: 1555; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


Karma isn't yet done with these guys....

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