Activision Blizzard to buy King for $5.9bn

Acqusition expected to be completed by spring 2016
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Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard has announced it is in the process of acquiring King Digital Entertainment, the mobile giant behind the worldwide phenomenon that is Candy Crush Saga.

The deal will cost $5.9bn, according to Reuters. That’s more than double the $2bn Facebook spent on Oculus and the $2.5bn Microsoft spent on Mojang.

In a statement, the publisher said that the mobile games market is expected to generate more than $36bn by the end of this year, and the acquisition of King will strengthen Activision’s position as a “global leader in interactive entertainment”.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by spring 2016. King will continue to operate independently, with Riccardo Zacconi retaining his position as chief executive.

CEO Bobby Kotick said the deal would help Activision reach new demographics, noting that King boasts an audience that is 60 per cent female.

“You have such broad reach,” he told Reuters. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to create compelling content for new demographics.”