Candy Crush Saga: The Game That’s Too Successful To Float (See Zynga)
THIS is a fun little story. Candy Crush Saga is the all conquering barnstorming game of the moment and it’s made its maker, King, worth something like $5 billion. But it’s exactly that mega-success of the game that means that the maker cannot cash out by floating it on the stock market. Imagine that, being to successful to be able to sell yourself.
King, the mobile games maker behind Candy Crush Saga, has delayed its initial public offering until next year amid fears that the flagship game has been “too successful”.
The British company, which is gearing up for a potential $5bn (£3bn) flotation on the Nasdaq stock exchange, had considered listing by the end of this year. However, it has decided to wait to give it time to demonstrate that it has other hits in the pipeline and is not a “one hit wonder”.
The reason is that everyone remembers what happened to another games developer that had a huge hit. Zynga was that Farmville game that people were playing on Facebook: at one time they were making more profit out of people playing on Facebook than Facebook were making for having the whole site. So Zynga floated, lots of people cashed out and the price then fell: it’s now about 75% down. The reason being that sure, Farmville was a great success but no one seemed all that interested in the other games that the company rolled out.
So, investors are a bit wary of coughing up for shares in a company that might be a one hit wonder. King, the people behind Candy Crush Saga, therefore need to hold on for a few months and prove that their follow up games get the same sort of play as their old ones. At which point they’ll be able to float the company.
But the amusing thing is still true. That Candy Crush Saga has been so successful that they cannot sell stock in the company just yet.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus speaks at a Zynga event Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, in San Francisco. Zynga is adding more ways for people to play its Web games as it grooms its business for an initial public offering of stock. The expansion announced Tuesday will enable Zynga’s 232 million users worldwide to play games such as CityVille and Mafia Wars on the company’s own website instead of only on Facebook and other social networking services.