Console game publisher Activision Blizzard is leaping head first into the mobile gaming space with its $5.9 billion purchase of Candy Crush creator King Digital.
Known for its big-budget console franchises such as Call of Duty and online title World of Warcraft, Activision’s purchase indicates its expectation for the continued growth of the mobile gaming market.
The mobile gaming space is projected to generate over $36 billion in revenue by the end of 2015.
King Digital entered the space itself in 2012 with the launch of Candy Crush Saga, a game that challenges players to match pieces of candy. The game had received 10 million downloads by December of the same year.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick revelaed in a statement that his company has “long admired King for consistently creating incredibly fun, deeply engaging free-to-play games that capture the imaginations of players across ages and demographics.”
The Dublin-based mobile game creator will continue to be led by CEO Riccardo Zacconi, chief creative officer Sebastian Knutsson and COO Stephane Kurgan. The acquisition is expected to be completed in spring 2016.
“We believe that the acquisition will position us very well for the next phase of our company’s evolution and will bring clear benefits to our players and employees,” said Zacconi.
“We will combine our expertise in mobile and free-to-play with Activision Blizzard’s world-class brands and proven track record of building and sustaining the most successful franchises, to bring the best games in the world to millions of players worldwide.”