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Activision purchased King back in 2015 for $5.9 billion, and they're not letting the opportunity go to waste to utilize King's mobile branding power to help further bolster their own line-up of properties. This includes getting King, the maker of Candy Crush games, to make a Call of Duty mobile game.
Polygon is reporting that Activision has contracted King to start prototyping work on a mobile Call of Duty game. King has begun hiring for the project, including seeking out a user interface designer, art director and a level designer. None of those positions really tell us what type of game this upcoming Call of Duty game is going to be, but most people suspect that the title will be a match-3 style puzzle game.
King became famous for their Candy Crush Saga titles, making millions off the microtransactions and a simple enough concept that they eventually became a powerhouse in the mobile gaming arena. Over the course of the years, the series has racked in billions for King,
The allure of the Candy Crush series has waned over the years, though. While a lot of analysts and shareholders continue to hope that major publishers dive into the microtransaction-laden arena of mobile gaming, it hasn't exactly established long lasting brands that maintain their growth over the years. Activision, however, is hoping to re-establish their own dominance in the field by using King's Candy Crush formula for Call of Duty. However, whether they hope to do so through a match-3 design or something more traditional to the home console experience remains to be seen.
King hasn't had a lot of experience with games outside of the match-3 design. The majority of their games center around casual puzzle designs, and even their games that aren't match-3 puzzle games, like Shuffle Cats or Pyramid Solitaire Saga, they still fit within the casual gaming genre.
As most people know, Call of Duty is highly popular in circles where people really enjoy online multiplayer games and games with blockbuster Hollywood storytelling. So it's going to be a real challenge to have King make a game that appeals to the traditional Call of Duty player that isn't a first-person shooter, assuming that's what King is working on.
In the mobile space, Activision has been willing to experiment with the Call of Duty franchise, tapping developers like Faceroll Games to design a real-time strategy title in the form of the 2014 outing Call of Duty: Heroes. The free-to-play title managed to rack up millions of downloads but didn't seem to leave much a dent on the mobile market. Call of Duty: Heroes seemed to be better received than the more traditional outing for mobile devices called Call of Duty: Strike Team. The game was made by Blast Furnace and didn't seem to win over the casual mobile crowd nor the traditional hardcore console gaming audience after it launched in 2013 for iOS and Android devices. It was a first-person shooter, but not big or bad enough to prove to be a breakout hit for Activision.
They seem to be refining the strategy this time around with their newest Call of Duty for mobile devices. Whether or not a match-3 type game could prove to be successful is still up in the air, but Activision has typically had the mobile titles released close to the release of the mainline Call of Duty titles, so don't be surprised if King's new game drops at some point in October or November later this year.