Candy Crush Saga maker King takes a beating from investors

Shares in King Digital Entertainment Plc fell as much as 16 percent in their Wednesday debut, underscoring investor concern about the company’s reliance on “Candy Crush Saga” and dampening hopes that its coming-out party could revive investor interest in the mobile gaming industry. Mobile game industry executives had looked to London-based King’s IPO, the largest by a gaming company since Zynga Inc went public in 2011, to help sweep aside skepticism over a notoriously fickle, volatile market.

Today King went public, and immediately was given a raspberry by investors who sent its stock price down throughout the day, hammering the company to the tune of more than 15 percent and $1.1 billion in value. A good flotation this was not. In fact, it was the worst so far this year. King is famous for Candy Crush, a game that has been a massive hit for the company, generating the majority of its parent company’s revenue and profit. Worries about the game’s longevity, and questions regarding King’s ability to record another hit of commensurate size, appear to have spooked investors. An already profitable company, King now has ample cash to prove that it is not a one-hit wonder. How quickly it can do that is key, given that if Candy Crush becomes obsolete in rapid form, the company will see retreating revenue and profit, something that investors will not like.

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