A report in The Telegraph says that King.com, the London-based company behind Candy Crush, will go public on the NASDAQ. Only no one can hate-read their S-1 filing to see how much money King made off addicts who splurge on power-ups and life packs because the company has opted for a "secret IPO."
Like Twitter, King is taking advantage of loosened regulations in the Jobs Act meant to help small businesses raise capital and not the company behind a game played by every 7th person in Hong Kong that makes $633,000 a day.
King has hired a new chief financial officer: Hope Cochran, the former CFO of Clearwire, who was "instrumental" in brokering its $2.2 billion merger with Sprint last year. Aside from that, the Telegraph doesn't have much more to add than the Wall Street Journal's report this summer that King tapped JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Bank of America as underwriters.
However, the Telegraph does note that Zynga—the games maker that King.com usurped—has roughly half as many users. Zynga also currently has a market cap of $2.9 billion. That's a staggering drop-off from pre-IPO stories, like this Mark Pincus in Vanity Fair that noted that "Zynga's valuation could go over $100 billion. It could be the biggest I.P.O. in history."
But rather than learn from Zynga's mistakes about trying to out-engineer the hits-driven gaming business and continue to just mint money off Candy Crush, King is opting to go public. King, which has been profitable since 2005 is much, much better at getting smartphone users to part with their money. But if the ads that keep popping up on Candy Crush for its newer game Pet Rescue Saga is any indication: their plan is not that different from Zynga's. Just repeat the same formula and hope your firehose of users follows.
So congratulations. You did it. Your inability to just wait 30 minutes for another life, your willingness to let yourself be manipulated by subtle schemes of a game maker because you just had to beat level 29 or level 65. And by you, I mean me.
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