March 12 - King Digital Entertainment, the company behind Candy Crush, detailed IPO plans and its price sets a valuation that's a lot higher than that of social gamer Zynga, whose stock has gotten crushed. Fred Katayama reports.
Talk about a sugar high. The developer of that addictive mobile game, Candy Crush Saga, is going public at a price that values itself at nearly $8 billion. King Digital Entertainment will offer its stock for as much as $24 a share, raising as much as half a billion dollars. That's a lot for a company that rides on basically one hit. Candy Crush hauls in about three-fourths of its revenue. Since its launch two years ago, users have downloaded the game half a billion times. Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon has a warning for potential investors. He writes: "King will realistically last only as long as the Candy Crush fad. King will probably never again make the kind of money ($568 million) it made last year." King thinks it's worth a lot more than fellow social gamer Zynga, which the market values at just under $5 billion. Since going public a little over two years ago, the FarmVille developer has lost roughly half its value. King had better hope investors and users have a long lasting zing instead of a crush that turns bittersweet.