TIME viral

Watch Cats Attempt to Play Candy Crush 

The video game is catnip to humans, too

Cat videos and Candy Crush are two of the most addicting things in the world, so what happens when they come together? This video compiles cats from all around the world trying their luck at the matching video game, and the results are hilarious.

The cats swipe madly at the candies—which might be as good a strategy as any for the game’s higher levels. The video is destined to join the same pantheon of animals-playing-video-games videos that includes skateboarding dog plays video game and this frog trying to catch virtual ants.

At least you don’t need to spend extra money to keep playing with cats. Unless you’re in a cat cafe, that is.

TIME Mobile Gaming

Candy Crush Maker Diversifies, but Profits Take a Dip

King Digital leans less on its biggest game, but profits drop from $159 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $127 million in the first three months of 2014

Candy Crush Saga maker King Digital has an answer for critics who’ve called the company a one-hit wonder.

In the first quarter of 2014, King’s revenue stream was more diverse than ever, with 67% of its earnings coming from Candy Crush. That’s down from 78% in the last quarter of 2013, as King pushes new games like Farm Heroes Saga. King now has three of the 10 top-grossing games in both the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store, with Pet Rescue Saga rounding out King’s list of hits.

King also notched record revenues of $607 million, for a year-over-year increase of 195%.

It wasn’t all good news though. Profits are down sequentially, from $159 million in the final quarter of 2013 to $127 million in the first three months of the year. King said the lower profits are due to an increased headcount and the launch of Farm Heroes Saga, according to Business Insider.

The number of “unique payers”–that is, people paying for in-app power-ups–dropped to 11.9 million last quarter, down from 12.2 million in Q4 2013, and down from a peak of 13 million in Q3 2013.

That may explain why King’s stock is taking a dive today. At the time of publication, it was currently trading at $16.61 per share, compared to its IPO pricing of $22.50 per share. The company’s March IPO flopped badly, with shares falling 16% on the day of release.

[WSJ]

TIME mobile games

Candy Crush Maker King Is Going on a Massive Hiring Spree

A mascot dressed as a character from the mobile game "Candy Crush Saga" walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the IPO of Mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment Plc
A mascot dressed as a character from the mobile game "Candy Crush Saga" walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the IPO of Mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment Plc March 26, 2014. Brendan McDermid—Reuters

On the heels of its disappointing IPO, Candy Crush Saga developer King Digital is going on a hiring spree as it tries to craft another hit game. The London-based game maker has listed about 165 job openings on its corporate website in locations around the world, including Stockholm, Malta and San Francisco. If all the job listings are for new positions and not replacements of current employees, they would constitute a 25 percent increase in King’s workforce.

Primarily, King is seeking designers and engineers to help create new games. The company tests out new game concepts on its website, royalgames.com, then adapts the most popular titles to apps for Facebook or smartphones. Overall KIng has made more than 180 games in its 11-year existence, but Candy Crush is by far the most popular.

So far Wall Street seems unconvinced that King has another hit on the way. While King is extremely profitable, earning more than $500 million in 2013, 78 percent of the company’s gross bookings come from Candy Crush. Hit mobile games have a habit of fizzling out relatively quickly, and Candy Crush generated less revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 than it did in the previous quarter. Despite King vowing to create a diverse portfolio of mobile games, the company’s shares fell 16 percent from their IPO price of $22.50 on Wednesday. King’s stock slid further through the rest of the week. The IPO performance was reminiscent of Zynga, another maker of casual games that tried to parlay a mega-popular title (Farmville) into a big stock market debut but stumbled out of the gate.

TIME Candy Crush

King IPO Gets Candy Crushed

A mascot dressed as a character from the mobile game "Candy Crush Saga" walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the IPO of Mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment Plc
A mascot dressed as a character from the mobile game "Candy Crush Saga" walks the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the IPO of Mobile game maker King Digital Entertainment Plc March 26, 2014. Brendan McDermid—Reuters

King Digital Entertainment, designer of the ultra-popular mobile game 'Candy Crush Saga,' saw its stock fall more than 15 percent on its first day of trading, closing at $19 per share, down from $22.50, in the year's worst IPO performance yet

Stocks for Candy Crush game maker King Digital Entertainment plummeted on the first day of trading after its initial public offering Wednesday, making it the worst debut for an IPO yet this year.

King’s stock price fell more than 15% during its first day on the shelf, dropping from an opening price of $22.50 to close at $19.00.

The company’s IPO had been hotly anticipated after the runaway success of its “Candy Crush Saga.” The company raked in a $567.6 million profit last year, a 7,000% increase from a year earlier, due largely to Candy Crush’s success. Nearly 100 million people play the game every day.

King Entertainment’s dismal performance bucked the trend over the last 15 months, which have seen some of the best IPOs in the U.S. in years, The Wall Street Journal reports.

[WSJ]

TIME Mobile Gaming

Wall Street Sours On Candy Crush IPO

Candy Crush Game Maker King Announces IPO to List in New York
The "Candy Crush Saga" game is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5s and iPad Air in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

The mobile-game maker King Digital Entertainment missed its initial offering at $22.50 per share ahead of its trading that began this morning on the New York Stock Exchange as shares sank to around $20.50

Updated 10:30 ET

Investors failed to bite on King Digital Entertainment’s stock during the first day of trading Wednesday, as the maker of the smash hit mobile app Candy Crush saw its share prices drop 9% by 10:30 to around $20.50.

King Digital had raised $500 million before Wednesday by pricing its stock at $22.50 a share, valuing the company at $7 billion—one of the biggest IPOs so far this year, reports the New York Times. The stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

Candy Crush Saga attracts nearly 100 million active users every day, leading to enormous profits for the company. Its earnings bounced 7,000 percent from the same time a year ago to nearly $568 million in 2013.

But some question whether King Digital isn’t just a one-trick pony riding the success of Candy Crush. “Companies like King are reliant on hits,” Mark Little, an analyst at the technology consultant Ovum in London told the Times. “It’s an open question whether they can sustain their success.”

[NYT]

TIME Video Games

Minecraft Is Still Generating Insane Amounts of Cash for Developer Mojang

Minecraft
Minecraft

Five years after its initial release, the video game Minecraft is still bringing in huge revenue for its developer, Mojang AB. The Swedish video game company reported that its revenue increased to 2.07 billion Swedish kronor (or $330 million) in 2013, a 38 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company pulled in 816 million kronor ($129 million) in profit.

Minecraft, a sandbox game in which people can build virtually anything they can imagine out of blocks, began as a quirky, independently developed PC game in 2009. Since then the title has blossomed into an empire, spawning a glut of merchandise, versions for mobile phones and home consoles and, appropriately, an official LEGO set. In total Minecraft has sold more than 35 million copies across various platforms. The PC version alone generated almost $250,000 in revenue in the last 24 hours. Because Mojang sells the PC version exclusively on its own website, the company gets to keep all of that money instead of splitting it with game retailers like GameStop or Valve’s Steam online marketplace.

Other gaming startups that have hit upon viral successes like Minecraft are now going public. Dublin-based King, maker of the mobile hit Candy Crush Saga (and former employer of Minecraft creator Markus Persson), is prepping an initial public offering in the U.S. that could value the company at as much as $7.6 billion. Chukong Technologies, a Chinese mobile gaming firm that developed the popular title Fishing Joy, is reportedly planning a U.S. IPO as well. Mojang has no current plans to go public, according to the Journal.

MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles – Full

TIME

Candy Crush Maker Thinks It’s Worth $7.6 Billion

King Digital Entertainment seeks to raise up to $532.8 million in its initial public offering as it values its operations at nearly $7.6 billion

The maker of the hugely popular puzzle game Candy Crush is hoping to raise up to $532.8 million in its initial public offering as it values its operations at nearly $7.6 billion, reflecting the rapid ascendence of the online mobile gaming industry.

The developer of the irresistibly addictive game, King Digital Entertainment, wants to sell 22.2 million shares between $21 and $24 in its IPO, placing it ahead of its rival and last game giant to go public, Zynga. Candy Crush’s maker King initially filed for the IPO last month.

The company saw an average of 144 million daily active users playing its games more than 1.4 billion times a day—an increase from 128 million daily active users playing more than 1.2 billion times in December.

King’s target valuation for its IPO would set it behind more established gaming players like Electronic Arts ($9.2 billion valuation) and Activision Blizzard ($14.3 billion).

[WSJ]

TIME Video Games

Are You Addicted to ‘Candy Crush’? Take Our Quiz and Find Out

See where you rank on our Candy Crush Obsession Scale. After all, it might not be a question of whether you're hooked, but exactly how distracted you've become by this little game since its debut a year ago. (Disclaimer: this is an unofficial, nonclinical diagnosis.)

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