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Candy Crush is not just a game, it is big business

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When the wildly addictive game of Candy Crush announced its Trademark of ‘candy’ a few weeks ago, you knew that it was getting ready for a ‘big business’ venture. King Digital Entertainment, the Irish publisher behind Candy Crush and several other big mobile games, has filed its initial IPO papers with the SEC, and says it wants to trade on the NYSE under the “KING” ticker, appearing on NBS News update today.

King the 11 year-old company came into its own based in a large part to the success of Candy Crush, the game that was socially interactive, challenging to move up levels and visually appealing. Now it is a fast-growing company that is being viewed by the business analysts as will it succeed and have more in its game bag than just Candy Crush?

The company said that its profit surged more than 7,000 percent last year, to $567.6 million from $7.8 million. Revenues climbed enormously as well, to nearly $1.9 billion. At 93 million games played each day it has become the king of games and generates 78 percent of the revenue for King.

That high concentration of revenue for one game begs the question of what will happen to King if people get tired of Candy Crush. Zynga to Rovio answer those challenges so they continually make their games challenging and rewarding to the player along with an opportunity of playing for points and social interaction.

As do other game companies, King gives its product away and makes the money from its users who buy virtual power-ups that help them succeed in the game. King’s accounting records say that 4 percent of its users which is about 12 million people are regular buyers.

Business for King is dependent on your phone, so 70 percent of its revenue comes from mobile users and a handful of big distributors. People were introduced to the game via Facebook, Apple store, Google and Amazon.

Its gross bookings did decline in the fourth quarter of 2013. King was not surprised and expected it to contribute less over time.

Rumors that the IPO may be placed on hold were dismissed today and the IPO confirmed as a go. King was created in 2003 by Riccardo Zacconi, Sebastian Knutsson, Thomas Hartwig, Lars Markgren and Patrik Stymne, who had all previously played in tech before the dotcom bubble burst in 2000. The firm has a catalogue of around 150 games and now launches a new game on its website every month.

To view other articles about Candy Crush and other game apps see the list below in Author’s suggestions and view the video atop this article on details of the IPO filing and the new King game, 'Papa Pear.'


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