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Activision Blizzard snaps up Candy Crush maker King for $5.9bn

Gaming giant Activision Blizzard has agreed a deal to acquire UK-based developer King Digital Entertainment, the firm behind the ultra successful Candy Crush mobile games.

In a deal reported in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Activision will pay a staggering $5.9bn (around £3.8bn) for the company.

As reported by the FT, Activision is paying cash for the mobile developer, which is currently valued at $4.7bn (about £3bn). The deal gives Activision a massive slice of the mobile market with one of the most popular franchises around.

The firm has traditionally made its money in the console and PC gaming world, thanks to storied series’ like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

When the two companies are combined, Activision will be able to boast a global user base of 500 million active monthly users.

“We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands and proven track record of building and sustaining the most successful franchises, to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide,” Richard Zacconi, who will remain as King chief executive said.

The 12-year old company, which was formed in Sweden, rests heavily on the income it brings in from the Candy Crush series, but revenue from the games is down since King floated on the New York Stock Exchange last year.

In a press release Activision CEO Bobby Kotick wrote: “The combined revenues and profits solidify our position as the largest, most profitable standalone company in interactive entertainment.”

The announcement comes during the biggest week of the year for Activision, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on sale later this week.

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