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November 2015 Retro Gaming Article


November 4, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Activision Blizzard purchases King, maker of Candy Crush Saga, for a multi-billion dollar fortune

When I think of Activision, I think Pitfall, not Call Of Duty. I've always liked the story of the disgruntled programmers, in the 1980s, bonding together to form Activision and prove that those writing the code were indeed deserving of credit. After all, they created the games we loved playing.

Fast forward a few decades and how many of those 80s companies are still active? Activision has persevered and managed to stay in the spotlight as the gaming industry evolved and it's customers demanded more.

In late 2007 mergers were happening that created Activision Blizzard. In late 2015 Activision bought mobile game company, King. This 5.9 billion dollar transaction gives Activision an instant presence in mobile gaming. King was mainly known for their Candy Crush mobile games involving matching puzzle-based game play.

King had wild success with this seemingly simplistic game and went on to create spin-offs. Similar to what Rovio did with Angry Birds, King suddenly had a lot of the "same game" making up a significant share of revenue. Rovio wasn't able to grow the Angry Birds series to keep pace with player interest and lost a lot over time. King was seeing some of this effect as well. King's success also led to many similar games by other developers which flooded the market with bright-colored matching games. Too many, if one were to ask me.

Pitfall Candy Crush I'll always go first to Activision's Atari 2600 titles like Skiing, River Raid, Kaboom, and of course Pitfall! I was also a fan of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise that I first discovered on the GameCube. With recent stories of Konami showing more interest in mobile gaming, it will be interesting to see how the King acquisition affects Activision. Regardless, I'll still favor my beloved 2600 cartridges - from an era when gaming was focused on having fun!

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