• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Startups
US firm closes $5.9bn deal with Swedish King
King's game Candy Crush. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

US firm closes $5.9bn deal with Swedish King

Emma Löfgren · 23 Feb 2016, 15:54

Published: 23 Feb 2016 15:54 GMT+01:00

King announced on Tuesday afternoon that it has officially joined forces with the Californian giant, effectively making the two firms the biggest computer gaming network in the world, it said.

The company explained that it would continue to operate as an independent unit, with its manager and co-founder Riccardo Zacconi staying on as chief executive alongside chief operating officer Stephane Kurgan.

"We are thrilled to now be a part of Activision Blizzard and can't wait to start working together. I want to thank everyone at King for all of their hard work since we founded the company 13 years ago," said Zacconi in a statement.

"We are excited about the future as we continue developing more exciting games and explore new ways to serve our players and build on the greatest franchises in interactive entertainment."

King already has game studios in cities including Stockholm, Malmö, London and Bucharest as well as offices in Seattle and San Fransisco in the US.

Alongside Candy Crush it has developed more than 200 titles including Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue and Bubble Witch and reported having 340 million average monthly unique users in the second quarter of 2015.

READ ALSO: Stockholm third best in Europe for startups

Activision Blizzard, meanwhile, is behind worldwide hits such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty and Guitar Hero.

Welcoming the acquisition of King on Tuesday, its chief executive Bobby Kotick said: "We now reach over 500 million users across almost every country, making us the largest game network in the world. We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favorite franchises (...) across mobile devices, consoles and personal computers."

Story continues below…

As The Local reported when the prospective deal was first announced in November, King and Activision’s management are understood to have first met three years ago.

However discussions intensified last year as King’s shares dipped, 12 months after the Swedish firm was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The acquisition spells one of the biggest gaming deals on the planet in recent years. Last September Sweden's Minecraft developers Mojang were bought up by Microsoft in a $2.5 billion agreement.

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Löfgren (emma.lofgren@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Struggling Ericsson pulls plug on CEO Vestberg
Hans Vestberg presents Ericsson's second quarter report last week. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has fired its long-standing CEO Hans Vestberg, the company announced on Monday morning.

Private holiday rentals boom in Sweden
A youth hostel in Sundsvall, central Sweden. Photo: Helena Landstedt / TT

More tourists in Sweden are choosing to rent private homes from the likes of Airbnb – but the hotel industry is just fine.

My Swedish Career
'Fashion is this big industry that can really do better'
Social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith. Photo: Elinor Magnusson

The Local talks to US social entrepreneur Stefanie Smith about transparent fashion and why Sweden's startup scene is about more than just tech.

Sweden to sizzle in the sun for a few more days
The beach at Båstad on Saturday. Photo: TT

The heatwave that hit most of Sweden last week is set to continue until Wednesday at least, according to Swedish weather forecaster, SMHI.

Swedish ex-prime minister Thorbjorn Fälldin dead at 90
Fälldin in 1981. Photo: TT/FLT-PICA

Thorbjorn Fälldin, the former farmer who became prime minister in Sweden's first non-Social Democratic government since World War II, has died at the age of 90.

Swedish police fear serial rapist on loose in Malmö
The attacker is thought to be in his mid-twenties and had been seen riding his bike in the area prior to the incident. Photo:TT

The rape of a 14-year-old girl in Malmö has led police to conjecture that there may be a serial rapist operating in the southern Swedish city.

Stockholm Pokémon hunter impaled on metal fence spike
Another Swede playing Pokémon Go in Stockholm. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

He tried to climb a fence to find more Pokémon.

Video
When Alicia Vikander taught us to put our pen in the bottle
Swedish actress Alicia Vikander and US talkshow host Jimmy Fallon. Photo: Tonight Show/NBC/Screenshot

We're not even sure if that's a euphemism or not.

Muslim man fired for not shaking women's hands
File photo of people shaking hands. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

A man is suing a local council in Sweden after he lost his job for refusing to shake hands with female colleagues.

Swedish bus driver who hit asylum seeker: 'I'm not racist'
The story has grabbed global headlines. Photo: Nobina

A Swedish bus driver caught on camera beating and kicking an asylum seeker has for the first time spoken to media.

Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
Blog updates

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 

11 July

Swedish quizzes (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I have created some quizzes you can take online to test your Swedish skills. Here…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
Gallery
Property of the week: Smedjebacken, Dalarna
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
Politics
WATCH: A very Swedish take on Brexit...
National
Swede's fury at Daily Mail's Bråvalla 'lies'
Gallery
People-watching: July 8th-10th
National
Sweden and Denmark trolled each other on Twitter and it's hilarious
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
National
ANALYSIS: Why Swedes are talking more about immigration than before
National
Watch Icelanders cheer their Swedish hero coach
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,334
jobs available