Why Candy Lost its ‘Crush’

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Candy CrushNearly 100 million people each day play Candy Crush Saga, the highly addictive online game where players match candies in combinations to win points and advance to increasingly difficult levels.

Anyone that has played the game probably can understand why King Digital Entertainment (NYSE: KING), maker of Candy Cush, went public on March 26 through an initial public offering, selling  22,200,000 shares of its stock on the open market.

While timing for IPOs is good, King’s public stock debut went south, dropping 20 percent on its opening day, closing this Friday at $18.96, $3.54 below its asking IPO price of $22.50.

Investor fatigue may be seeping in for publicly traded game makers like Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA), which dropped more than 100 percent since its IPO in December 2011 because of poor financials and a declining popularity of its games.

Wall Street may see the same fate for King, mainly because Candy Crush accounts for 78 percent of its sales, although lesser popular games such as Farm Heroes Saga and Bubble Witch Saga have about 20 million daily users, which quite frankly, isn’t half bad.

King’s future success as a public entity undoubtedly depends on its ability to pump out hits, like Disney’s Pixar, which continues to create blockbuster animated films, and Blizzard’s Activision (NASDAQ: ATVI), which had its stock nearly double since the start of last year.

It’s a good bet that consumers will lose its crush on King’s “candy game” probably soon than later, especially since consumer attention spans are becoming increasingly shorter.   Be that as it may, this blogger’s addiction with Candy Crush has dwindled sharply after only reaching level 107, still a long way to go before hitting the illusive 500 mark.  Maybe the game’s 100 million users feel the same way.

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