If you are one of the 500 million people who have downloaded Candy Crush Saga since its launch in 2012 you will be fully aware of its sugary appeal. The knife-edge of frustration and exhilaration you experience as you try to match those pesky sweets makes the game horribly addictive and a must have for those boring moments at lunch or, dare we say it, at meetings (with the sound down, of course.)
Now the makers of Candy Crush, the Internet games giant King Digital Entertainment, is hoping to raise as much as $533 million with a share sale on the New York Stock Exchange.
King plans to sell 22.2 million shares priced between $21 and $24 a share.
The London based firm is likely to make history as the most valuable British internet company to float on the stock market, with an expected value of $7.6 billion, pushing it ahead of rivals Take Two Interactive – makers of the popular Grand Theft Auto series – and making its chief executive, Riccardo Zacconi, a multi-millionaire.
In 2011, before the huge popularity of Candy Crush began, King made $64 million. Two years later, their revenue had gone up to $1.8 billion.
Latest research has revealed that 144 million people play King games on a daily basis. As well as Candy Crush, King also owns Bubble Witch Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga, puzzles that try their best to outwit the player as they try to match the same colours and shapes before they tenaciously move onto higher levels.
All of King’s games can be downloaded free onto smartphones and tablets, but all of them give the player the opportunity to purchase boosters and extra lives in-game, something that has led to some unpleasant financial surprises for many parents.
Candy Crush is truly a sweet success story, but many web watchers have warned King that they may be over reliant on their main game for keeping the dollars coming in. If its popularity wanes, King could find itself in trouble, as its top three games – with Candy Crush obviously topping the list – accounted for 95% of its total revenue last year.