'Candy Crush' developer King pulled in $1.88 billion in 2013, announces IPO

by Mike Rougeau

February 18 2014

The Irish mobile game company has registered for an initial public offering.

King's shares will be offered on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "KING," but the company has yet to determine a price range or how many shares it will offer. It's also unknown when the IPO will begin.

That said, King also revealed that its profits jumped exponentially from 7.8 million in 2012 to $567.6 million in 2013. Revenue also spiked, from $164.4 million to $1.88 billion.

That is, of course, thanks to Candy Crush Saga, which launched in 2012 on Facebook and later arrived on smartphones and tablets. It's an irritatingly simple and alarmingly colorful "match-3" puzzle game whose success is, at best, inexplicable.

Regardless, King's numbers apparently place it almost in a league of its own; according to The Wall Street Journal Business Editor Dennis K. Berman, only six of the 5,000 companies in the NASDAQ have as much revenue and profit margins as large as King's.

But King has weathered much criticism and controversy lately, most of it self-inflicted; the company trademarked the words "candy" and "saga," and is actively attempting to get other games that use those words in their titles removed from the App Store and Google Play. Further, one indie developer said King paid another studio to clone his game wholesale, while another indie dev accused King of cold-heartedly "taking the food out of [his] family's mouth."

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