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King revenues, profits shrinking

Declines blamed on Candy Crush Saga "maturation," second quarter results still better than had been expected

Candy Crush Saga no longer makes up the bulk of King's revenues, but the mobile developer's fortunes are still heavily dependent on its breakout hit. That much was clear as the company reported its second quarter earnings today, showing bookings, revenues, and profits all down significantly quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.

For the three months ended June 30, the company reported revenues down 18 percent year-over-year to $490 million, with profits down 28 percent to $165 million. On a non-GAAP basis, gross bookings were down 13 percent to $529 million.

King blamed the bookings and revenue downturn primarily on Candy Crush Saga, which is seeing performance sag "as it continues to mature." The company also acknowledged that it launched fewer franchise games in the first half of the year, even though those seem to be best suited to offsetting declines from the maturation process of its existing titles.

King CEO Riccardo Zacconi put a positive spin on the numbers, noting, "Our second quarter 2015 gross bookings exceeded the high end of our guidance range and for the third consecutive quarter, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga and Farm Heroes Saga ranked within the top 10 grossing games in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the US. These results reflect our execution on delivering new content and features in our franchise games and demonstrate the continued benefits from operating global mobile game franchises and the strength of their brands."

Candy Crush Saga's downturn also led to the company seeing decreases in its active users from the first quarter. Monthly active users were down 9 percent quarter-over-quarter to 501 million, while daily active users were down 10 percent to 142 million.

"The sequential decreases in MAUs and DAUs were due to a decrease in game activity, primarily in Candy Crush Saga, as well as in most of our other games," the company reported. "The decrease was reflected on both mobile and web with web declining at a faster rate, which we believe is due to a continuing decline in overall Facebook desktop users."

Both MAUs and DAUs were up year-over-year, a result attributed to the company's newer games, Candy Crush Soda Saga in particular.

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Latest comments (3)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany5 years ago
When the time comes for them to release new products, I would see PC and console DLC as the best option (without or along with the phone version). Consoles are hungry for F2P games and (PS4 particularly) Their downloadable games policy is more adaptive now that it was six months ago (or in previous gen, for all that matters). But the biggest reason for it, is that PC and Consoles are platforms in which it's a lot easier getting user attention than in the mobile phone stores. Sure the user reach is still bigger (and will be) on phones, but getting noticed by the final user is getting harder every month (as hard as 100.000 new apps per month, to compete against for a piece of the spotlight) and a lot more expensive because of that.

A lot of small studios are moving to console and PC development now for that reason.
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Thomas Kennedy Unemployed (Seeking work) 5 years ago
This just goes to show that the mobile buisness can not be considered a place for developers to "live" We've had Roivo say how Angry birds 2 isn't a commercial success and now we have King's profits getting smaller and smaller, it's mostly down to the very rapid over saturation of the mobile game market and the lack of relegation on the platform (I mean how many clones of Flappy bird was there when it was taken down?), at this point Mobile could be considered a short term area before moving onto consoles/PC, get funds from your mobile game to fund developing a game for consoles but long term staying power? Personally I don't think you can anymore.
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Jamie Firth Video Games Production 5 years ago
now we have King's profits getting smaller and smaller
A company making "only" $165m profit in one quarter is not necessarily a sign that mobile gaming as a whole is on the decline.
CCS is over 3 years old now: How many console games can go over three years before sales and engagement even start to decline?
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