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'Candy Crush Saga' maker files for IPO, but players might be losing interest

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Candy Crush Saga (King Tumblr)
Candy Crush Saga (King Tumblr)

King, the company behind the frightfully addictive Candy Crush Saga, is ready to let you own a chunk of its success with a filing to go public with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Published today, the document doesn't list out the price at which shares will be offered, but King is looking for a total of $500 million from this initial public offering.

Not exactly a diversified portfolio

The prospectus does a good job of illustrating the double-edged sword that an investment in King represents — it has a vast audience of 128 million daily active users and over 1.2 billion games being played every day, but Candy Crush Saga accounts for 93 million of those daily users and 1.085 billion of those games. In short, it's a one-game company, and that one game might be losing players (or at least public interest) rather quickly. Still, having been in operation since 2003, the company believes it has a "repeatable and scalable game development process" that will keep it growing for years to come.

2013 was the real breakout year for King Digital Entertainment in financial terms, as the company's profits exploded to $568 million. Even those numbers show a cautionary stagnation, however, as revenues dipped between the third and fourth quarters of the year, with profits falling from $230 million to $159 million. Whether or not it'll be able to sustain the momentum of its flagship game, or recreate it with its variety of other Saga titles, is the key question for King going forward. How investors answer it for themselves will be what determines the success of this IPO. The company has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol of "KING."