We asked industry leaders their thoughts on the move. Here’s how they responded:
“Investing in a hot gaming company can be a tricky proposition as success is largely hit-based. Candy Crush took the Internet by storm, but I am not sure how repeatable that success is as many of the marketing tactics used (such as auto-redirecting users to the app store, and leveraging Facebook invites) are no longer viable methods for user acquisition. Zynga had a great run on Facebook too, but is now struggling to adapt as Facebook continues to change their platform. Having a hit game and developing a gaming company that’s viable over the long–term are two very different things. I believe their are stronger investment opportunities in the mobile/social space.” — Ted Murphy, CEO & Founder of IZEA.
“It’s been exciting to watch the explosive growth of Candy Crush over the last several months. King’s brand has managed to strike a chord with people, creating a challenging and engrossing experience, while also successfully monetizing without alienating players. They’ve leveraged social media to grow their user base, and expanded through creation of versions in Asia for the successful Kakao platform. It’s no surprise with this growth that they’ll look to ways to expand their business and brand.” — Bertrand Schmitt, CEO, App Annie.
“It isn’t surprising to read about King.com’s IPO. The challenge for them will be to convince investors that they won’t become the next Zynga. They need to demonstrate how they can grow and generate even more revenue and promote beyond Candy Crush. Quite simply, to succeed they need a convincing narrative of how they will go beyond users on Facebook and mobile devices and reach an even wider audience.” — David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC.