King has been making headlines lately thanks to trademark claims that are, frankly, insane. But it looks like the creators of Candy Crush Saga are doing something right: the Wall Street Journal reports that the company is filing for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, preparing to sell as much as $500 million in initial stock.


King's collection of simple Facebook, iOS, and Android games are almost entirely driven by the free-to-play model, with headliner Candy Crush Saga being downloaded more than 100 million times on Android alone. The company has also become a lightning rod for controversy ever since it won extremely broad trademark claims on the term "Candy" (applied to video games and clothing) in January. It earned even more ire from gamers after filing to block the trademark for The Banner Saga, a Viking-themed strategy game for the PC that bears no resemblance to any of its properties. Other bruises on the company's image include various accusations of blatantly copied games. The creator of Candy Swipe, which predates Candy Crush by two years, claims that King purchased the rights to an even earlier game in order to invalidate his own trademark filing against the company.

An IPO is good for an influx of quick cash, but it might not be a good strategy for a company which has risen so quickly in the highly changeable casual game market. Take Zynga, the former "king" of Facebook games: after an IPO in 2012, their stock price is roughly one third of its $15 high point, thanks in part to waning interest in former hits like Draw Something and Words With Friends. Tellingly, Angry Birds developer Rovio seems to have little interest in an IPO.

King has been around since 2002, but has seen a meteoric rise in popularity with the debut of Candy Crush Saga and other free-to-play games. In 2012 the company reported a profit of $7.8 million, which grew over 7,000% in 2013 to $567 million. Currently King hasn't settled on its initial stock price or market valuation.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • mustbepbs

    The only thing King needs now is the man himself, Don "Hattrick" Mattrick.


  • http://www.youtube.com/crisr82 Kristian Ivanov

    I'm kind'a tired to even read about the stuff they do...already gave my 1-star votes due to bad business practices and expressed my thoughts...so I just move along.

    Not sure if this was posted in a previous article, but just in case: http://www.candyswipe.com/king.html

  • h4rr4r

    .5 billion for one little game?
    Why would anyone buy this stock?

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Faith in humanity - lost

  • Sorian

    Sadly, it will survive, just like Facebook's stock.

  • RX24

    This is just plain pointless. Games usually lose their luster after a while.

  • CJ

    this game needs to ****ing die!!! im so sick of hearing about it.

  • Marcell Lévai

    People who support these companies by downloading and using their software deserve to pay in-app purchases, period.

  • didibus

    To be fair, the game itself is well designed and of good quality. The programmers and artists working for King are doing a great job. Their lawyer department, is, also, apparently doing a good job, though it might make the life of their marketing department a bit more difficult.

  • primalxconvoy

    I can't wait for these jokers to implode.

  • http://volumeboy-man.bandcamp.com/ VBM

    King isn't Nintendo, SCE nor Microsoft. Their video games ain't memorable classics like Pac Man, Tetris or Asteroids. People will eventually tired of their garbage and they will die a horrible corporate death.

    • Jadephyre


    • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

      one can only hope

    • Averix

      They're just the second coming of Zynga.

    • fonix232

      Problem is that King will always come back with a shitty "Saga" that will catch up for 2-6 months then die. It will keep the company floating to an extent, and shares will sell for a bit less/more. Making marginal money is possible, but you need to be a live-action stock broker to do it. Regular people won't buy it, hell, most of the brokers will actually stay away from it because they know it's shitty.

  • abobobilly

    Someone should assassinate mister King and BURN those trademarks ... hopefully WITH the office who allows them.


  • CERN

    Trying to block the game 'the banner saga' is the only move which is wrong. The rest are plain business. Still I hate Candy Crush. It's just awful.