Candy Crush Saga is a simple strategy game. The objective? To solve puzzles by annihilating colorful candies. And now, following in the grand tradition of gaming behemoths like Zynga, King Digital Entertainment, whose portfolio also includes Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga, has filed to become a publicly traded company. Its plan is to raise $500 million.
According to the F-1 filing, the company plans to trade under the ticker symbol “KING,” with J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, and BofA Merrill Lynch among the lead underwriters. “Our focus is to provide a highly engaging, differentiated entertainment experience where the combination of challenge and progress drives a sense of achievement,” writes King in the filing. “We make our games available for free, while players can purchase virtual items priced relative to the entertainment value they provide.”
So far, that strategy appears to be paying off. Since transitioning from largely a Facebook-only platform to focus on mobile, revenue has skyrocketed. From the first quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013, revenue went from $22 million to $602 million. King claims that Candy Crush Saga alone tallies 93 million daily active users each month playing more than 1 billion games–pretty sweet, any way you slice it.
There are questions of course, one being that of whether the 10-year-old company has another Candy Crush-sized hit in it. Nevertheless, King believes it has the secret sauce to keep casual gamers coming back in droves.
“Following these principles, we have gathered a wide base of approximately 12 million average monthly unique players, representing approximately 4% of our monthly unique users as of December 31, 2013,” writes King. “We believe that targeting a modest share of our customer’s entertainment spend drives game longevity and customer loyalty, and is the most effective way of building a sustainable business over the long term.”