King Digital Entertainment Plc, the producer of all-time-hit mobile phone game Candy Crush Saga went public today on the New York Stock Exchange. Though there was much speculation about the $22.50 share price previously declared to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the mobile gaming company’s shares are not doing badly in trading so far, fluctuating between $19.9 and $20.50. Overall market valuation, based on these share price, stands between $6 and 6.5 billion.
The Ireland-registered company with Swedish origin and London headquarters, who started Candy Crush Saga in 2012, has grown its revenues tremendously, mainly thanks to the unabridged success of the game. With over 100 million players on both Android and iOS devices, the game was downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012.
The company’s games are played a staggering 1.4 billion times a day by an average of 144 million active users. The figures were 1.2 billion and 128 million respectively in December 2013, illustrating its dramatic growth trajectory. In the last quarter of 2013, 73 percent of bookings for the company’s games came from mobile devices.
The company declared revenues of $1.88 million for the year 2013, with three quarters of this thanks to Candy Crush. The company generates income through in-app sales of add-ons and extra lives. King offers a total of 180 games in 14 languages for all platforms including Facebook, though it is clear to see who the main breadwinner is.
Speculations about the potential performance of King on the NYSE stem mainly from Zynga’s poor performance since its own IPO in late 2011, whose stock price is slightly over half its 2011 level. Although King has reaped the benefits of focusing on mobile games, unlike Zynga who had restricted itself to social media platforms, its revenues heavily rely on Candy Crush, very much like Zynga who made millions initially from FarmVille.
The FarmVille company valued itself at $7 billion during SEC filing but shares have nosedived since then, diminishing its total market value to $4.2 billion. With so many comparisons being drawn between the two, lets hope King avoids the same fate.