The final pieces have fallen into place, and now Activision Blizzard is the proud owner of King, the makers of the ubiquitous mobile hit Candy Crush Saga, for the cool price of $5.9 billion. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said that:
“We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favorite franchises, from Candy Crush to World of Warcraft to Call of Duty and more, across mobile devices, consoles and personal computers.”
As MMOBomb readers know, Activision Blizzard already has one big hit on mobile devices, that being Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. It’s difficult to imagine such complex titles as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty being exactly ported over to mobile, but, just as Hearthstone uses the WoW universe for its setting, it wouldn’t be impossible to imagine a Call of Duty-inspired game also making the leap. Let’s just hope we don’t get another Game of War clone with a Call of Duty skin placed over it.
And then there’s Heroes of the Storm. While relatively few MOBAs exist on mobile devices, with their frequent clicking and small number of powers to activate, they would seem to be well-suited at least for tablets. Now that it’s got King’s reach — 500 million players, according to Kotick — don’t be surprised if ActiBlizzard tries to make a push in that direction, to try to bring MOBAs to a new-ish audience.
Whatever ActiBlizzard’s plans are, by investing so much in mobile, it indicates that the company hasn’t given up on free-to-play for future products, which might have been a thought after the announcement of Overwatch’s pricing. The majority of games on mobile devices are free-to-play, and while we don’t make a habit of covering those on MMOBomb, we’ll keep an eye out for anything sufficiently Blizzard-ish that might pop up.
That said, one has to wonder at the price tag. $5.9 billion is a lot for a company — and really, just one game — that’s been in decline for a while. As someone in one of the linked articles above pointed out, that’s almost 50% more than the $4 billion Disney paid to acquire Star Wars, which, unlike Candy Crush Saga, will still be beloved several decades down the road. I sure hope those 500 million Candy Crush players really like elves and wizards.