Activision Blizzard is purchasing King Digital, maker of the popular mobile game Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion in cash.
The sale is expected to be completed by next spring, although the acquisition still needs to be approved by King's shareholders and relevant antitrust authorities. It was, however, unanimously approved by the boards of both Activision and King.
For "Candy Crush" players, this deal won't affect anything. The "Candy Crush Saga" and the company's other games will continue operating as normal.
If anything, Activision will help King produce more titles like "Candy Crush" for the foreseeable future.
Activision already owns a formidable war chest of games, including "World of Warcraft," "Call of Duty," "Hearthstone," and "Destiny." But now, the company will add two of the five highest-grossing US mobile games to its coffers with the King acquisition.
By buying the "Candy Crush" maker, Activision will move aggressively into mobile gaming. The company recently reported its earnings, and only 5% of its revenue came from mobile and "other sources." Activision still makes most of its money from console games like "Call of Duty," but the company clearly wants to diversify its investments across all realms of gaming.
That said, the Activision acquisition will put a lot of pressure on King to produce more titles like "Candy Crush." The company hasn't created such a popular game since "Candy Crush" launched in 2012, despite reporting hundreds of millions in revenue each quarter. If anything, expect King to start pushing out more titles in 2016; hopefully one of these games will prove more addicting than "Candy Crush."