King Digital, the company behind the popular online game 'Candy Crush Saga', soon plans to make its debut into the U.S stock market. According to a filing obtained from the SEC, the company is planning an IPO (or initial public offering) which some analysts say could generate massive profits and clear the path for other online game companies to do the same.
According to the filing, King Digital - which hopes to raise up to $500 million in the offering - will be publicly traded on the market with the ticker symbol 'KING'. The filing also gave a glimpse into the finances of the company, which saw a revenue of $1.9 billion dollars in 2013. Most of this success is owed to their most popular game, Candy Crush Saga, which has been downloaded over 500 million times since its launch in 2012.
In December, the game saw a peak in popularity - with almost 93 million users playing every day. And while the company offers many other lesser known games (such as Pet Rescue Saga and Papa Pear Saga), Candy Crush is by and large the biggest money maker for King Digital.
Despite this relative success, the company has experienced its fair share of controversy in recent months. King Digital has been embroiled in a fairly significant conflict over its attempt to trademark the words 'candy' and 'saga', and the subsequent cease and desist letters which the company sent out to other smaller game makers it had found to be infringing on the copyright. Many game companies have expressed their displeasure with the practice, with one developer even accusing King of outright stealing his game - which he claims to have made almost 2 years before Candy Crush Saga's release. This controversy, however, is overshadowed by the news surrounding King's stock market debut.
While King has seen major success with Candy Crush Saga, some say the game may also be their downfall. Contrary to the generally positive outlook by many analysts, some say King may go the route of Zynga - another popular game company, which produced hits such as Farmville and Bubble Safari. Zynga experienced the same fervor and attention when they announced their IPO in 2011, but the hype died down soon after when Zynga, who struggled to recreate the success of its most popular games, saw their share price fall almost 50% in the years following their IPO. That being said, King has profits on their side, and even despite the controversy, the Candy Crush craze doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon.