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King isn't a one-trick pony, says Activision CEO Bobby Kotick

“When we looked at King, we saw four great franchises with lots of potential, one super franchise, and a fantastic pipeline. That got us really excited.”
"When we looked at King, we saw four great franchises with lots of potential, one super franchise, and a fantastic pipeline. That got us really excited."

- Activision CEO Bobby Kotick on the publisher's $5.9 billion acquisition of King.

Activision raised more than a few eyebrows on Monday when it purchased mobile juggernaut King, the company behind match three sensation Candy Crush Saga, for the princely sum of $5.9 billion. 

The comparisons were made immediately, with many on social media suggesting Activision had paid well over the odds by likening the deal to Disney's $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm back in 2012.

Others claimed that Activision had just blown close to $6 billion on a company at its peak, and with only one truly valuable IP at that. 

In an interview with The Guardian, however, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has stated that King is anything but a one-trick pony. 

“They had product concentration, and so Mr Market looks at that and says, ‘Hey, you know, is that a one-trick pony?’, said Kotick, "but when we looked at King, we saw four great franchises with lots of potential, one super franchise, and a fantastic pipeline. That got us really excited.”

Subverting expectations, Kotick also explained that Activision won't simply be using King's existing franchises to push its console IPs onto the mobile market.

"Just re-skinning games with our intellectual property is not an appealing prospect for opportunity,” adds Kotick. “That isn’t something that creates long-term value for shareholders.”

"We now have 500 million players in 196 countries around the world. In the past, our business was largely concentrated around middle-class consumers who could afford $300 or $400 for a dedicated game console or $1000 for a PC.

"Now, with the introduction of high-quality mobile devices, we’re looking at everybody being a consumer. And one of the things I love about King is 60 percent of their consumer base is female. There are more opportunities now than we’ve ever had before."

Head over to The Guardian to check out the full interview. 

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