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While some of the big headlines around the web regarding Activision are about the continually sliding numbers of World of Warcraft, another big headline is that Activision just recently purchased the Candy Crush Saga publisher, King, for $5.9 billion.

The purchase isn't entirely finalized and will likely be official by spring of 2016, according to a report by Kotaku. The purchase took a lot of people by surprise given that many know that King is worth a lot of money but few probably thought it was worth $5.9 billion.

Mobile games and mobile-centric developers and publishers usually have a short lifespan within the gaming industry. Rovio, the makers of Angry Birds, is one of the few mobile developers who have managed large amounts of sustained success. Many others may have one-hit wonders like Flappy Bird and then fade away. There was a time when Diner Dash was all the rage at one point, but it too has faded somewhat into obscurity.

Right now the Candy Crush games are huge, with the games racking up $1.33 billion in 2014 and $512 million during the second quarter of 2015. King has consistently been at the top of the crop with their titles, competing against other companies like Supercell and their extremely popular Clash of Clans games and Machine Zone's Game of War: Fire Age.

Previously King used to be competing with Zynga back when they were the big dogs, but Zynga was caught in a lot of copyright trouble over certain titles and the company failed to innovate, pushing them quickly out of the spotlight almost as fast as they entered it.

Activision, however, isn't just looking at Candy Crush, they're looking at utilizing their established portfolio of IP to reach King's massive casual audience. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, explained in an investor's call that the combination of Activision's illustrious library of game properties combined with King's reach makes for a powerful presence in the world of interactive entertainment...
If you look at the history of Activision Blizzard, we go back to our founding in 1979, whether it's Infocom, Dynamix, Sierra, Activision, Imagic, we have the largest library of intellectual properties in games that exists from any company, [...]

And a lot of that intellectual property, if you look back at its history, there are tens and tens of millions of players who have experienced those franchises. With mobile, we now have the opportunity to reach new players in 196 countries around the world and take a lot of that great content that we built over 35 years and create new content [which] will leverage that content against this new opportunity.

While the concept seems sound, the question is: will casual audiences actually care about Activision's IP re-branded or distributed under King's mobile model? The one thing that's been consistent within the mobile gaming arena it's that there's no guarantee that a seemingly good concept will sell or that high-quality games will dominate – Chair's Infinity Blade series – which runs on the Unreal Engine – is a perfect example of that.

Nevertheless, given all the cash Activision has accrued over the years, $5.9 billion for King is high but not so high that they can't make that big with a strong fiscal performance and high-selling titles. But we'll see in the long run if the investment will have been worth it.

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