Candy Crush Saga Breaks Into the U.S. Stock Market, Prepares for IPO

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By Athena Yenko | June 19, 2013 3:43 PM EST

Midasplayer International Holding Co., popularly known as King, the developer of the online and mobile game Candy Crush Saga hired big banks namely J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp., to handle the potential U.S. initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported.

King's leading game offering, Candy Crush Saga, was introduced through Facebook in April 2012 and had become the most popular game app on Facebook since its launching.

According to APPData, a standalone firm that tracks online activity, Candy Crush Saga has now estimated daily users of 15.4 million.

Also, according to App Annie, a company which tracks app store purchases, Candy Crush Saga had been one of the most frequently downloaded free apps both through the iPhone and Google Play. If in-game purchasers where considered, Candy Crush, is also the highest grossing apps available on iPhone and Google Play according to App Annie.

Figures coming from King show that the company, in over all, had more than 70 million daily players across all games, including Pet rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.

King was a company founded in 2003. At first, the founders launched a gaming website called Midasplayer.com. The website featured games like 8-Ball Pool that can both be played through the official website and other web portals.

In 2005, Apax Partners and venture-capital Index Ventures invested $50 million in Midasplayer.com. The investment paved the way for the company to make their games available through Facebook and smartphones. Consequently, King obtained wider online users.

In 2012, Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Executive and Co-founder of King announced publicly that the company was preparing for a possible IPO in 2013.

In an interview last year with VentureWire magazine, Mr. Zaconni said that that the company, indeed, has an option to enter an IPO because the company had been earning positively since 2005.

However, when asked about the company's specific plan for the IPO after hiring big banks this year, the company chose to be elusive in their answers.

According to a spokesman for the Midasplayer International Holding or King, "King's success and growth presents numerous opportunities for the business to develop further, and one option would be to take the company public. However, while it is an option for the future, we would not comment on when we could consider making such a decision."

King also said that as for the pricing of any future deal, it does not have a finalized plan yet.

The market had been showing acceptable feedback about King's decision to have an IPO, however analysts from Business Insider think otherwise.

According to Business Insider, "the odds are going to be against King."

The main reason that analysts saw King's move as unfavorable to the company was that "Games are, by definition, fleeting and faddish. So competition is fierce. And no one needs them, the way they need food, housing or transportation. Games seem like the very definition you should not invest in - and game companies seem like the kind of startups who might best remain private, where they can ride the financial roller coaster of the App Store behind closed doors."

The best example for this was the game company Zynga which reported decrease revenue of 17% to $264 million in the first quarter of 2013. The users simply got bored from Farmville and Zynga Poker. Zynga was compelled to lay off 520 workers.

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