The following is an excerpt from ERIC AUCHARD AND LEILA ABBOUD | November 3, 2015 | Reuters.com |
ideo game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) it to buy "Candy Crush Saga" creator King Digital Entertainment (KING.N) for $5.9 billion, as the heavyweight of console and PC gaming makes a major push into the faster-growing mobile market.
The deal would be one of the biggest in the industry in recent years, more than twice the size of Microsoft's (MSFT.O) $2.5 billion purchase of "Minecraft" maker Mojang last year, and the biggest-ever acquisition of a mobile gaming company.
The failure of King to replicate the success of Candy Crush with follow-up titles such as "Farm Heroes" and "Pet Rescue" has led some investors to worry it may be a one-hit wonder.
But Activision is betting its experience in sustaining long-running blockbuster franchises like "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" can help it develop new hit series.
The deal also gives the U.S. company a major presence in the mobile market, where games sales are expected to grow 21 percent this year to $20.6 billion, according to research firm Newzoo.
That compares with expected growth of 7 percent for computer games and 2 percent for TV and console games, although they will still represent the lion's share of the $91.5 billion overall industry, according to the industry researchers.
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