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In Going Public, Candy Crush Maker Hopes Investors Have a Sweet Tooth

February 18, 2014
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231599

Wall Street was riding high on a sugar rush this morning as King Media Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, filed for an initial public offering.

Preliminary fundraising targets were set at $500 million, though the company expects a multi-billion dollar valuation, reports The New York Times. It will trade on the NYSE under “KING.”

The Dublin-based company has most notably rocked the mobile gaming arena with Candy Crush, a free app that nevertheless comprises 78 percent of its estimated annual revenues of $1.9 billion.

Related: Sweet Victory: Candy Crush Developer Trademarks the Word 'Candy'

Other popular creations include Pet Rescue Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and Papa Pear Saga.

Launched on Facebook in 2012, Candy Crush reaps most of its wages from various add-ons that an average of 93 million daily players can opt to buy. King said that more than one billion Candy Crush games are played every day.

While the company’s colossal growth is happening at lightning speed -- 7,000 percent last year, said the Times -- many investors were wary of its long-term prospects.

Related: Look Out, Candy Crush: Flappy Bird Is the Latest Craze in Mobile Gaming

Candy Crush’s disproportionate contributions to King earnings raises questions about the fundamental distinctions between a company and a product. And as evidenced by recent phenomenon Flappy Bird -- which fluttered away nearly as soon as it landed -- hit titles come and go.

Moreover, the path already trod by competing developer Zynga, which had its IPO in 2011, does not look altogether promising.

As the proprietor of such hits as Farmville, Draw Something and Words With Friends, Zynga has bled revenue in recent years and its shares have tumbled more than 50 percent since their debut, noted The Wall Street Journal.

Related: The Keys to Candy Crush's Success