Today's Super-Addictive iPhone Game Might Be Tomorrow's Disaster IPO

Zynga went public over the popularity of a few hit Facebook games, and is now in the process of collapsing into a mush pit. Now, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, the jellybean puzzle game gripping the brains of America, are plotting an IPO, the Wall Street Journal reports. First as tragedy, then as farce.

There's no denying the maddening appeal of Candy Crush: it's basically the same god damned Bejewled clone we've been playing forever, but King, the team behind Crush, were able to tweak the old formula enough to send their game to the top of the iTunes chart. It's the absolute, diabolically perfect mix of tormenting addiction and genuine fun.

But more importantly, they're getting us to put real money into gumdrop powerups — the title is the second most popular free app for iPhones, but the top-grossing app overall. A dollar at a time, candy puzzle addicts are dumping credit card transactions like slot machine-addled Atlantic City junkies. It's a tremendous financial success.

So, why not reach for an IPO? Because it's gone so, so wrong before. Basing an entire IPO on the success of one (very big) hit presumes the success of future hits that are just as big, if not bigger — because remember, one day people will stop playing Candy Crush. Just like they stopped playing FarmVille. You'll need Egg Crush, Cupcake Blush Epic, Bubble Gem Marauder, and on, and on. These games are ultra-hits because they latch onto our minute attention spans, and the same brain deficiencies that make them stars will wash them away when the next fun bathroom game comes along. And then what's up for King's shareholders? They'll be joining Zynga's ex-staffers at the bar.


Comments

    I hate this game even though I've never played it; the adware and page redirects this company employs to get people to play give me the absolute sh*ts. I hope they reform their business practices or fail

    It's probably good writing to define an acronym like "IPO" for those of us who don't regularly read the Wall Street journal.

      Initial Public Offering

    The assumption of this piece is that these companies are bad investments... That is just wrong. Zynga was an awful investment only due to it's pricing at the IPO. $10 was crazy. But an investment at their low of $2.09 has been awesome.

    It's not the business that makes the companies hard to invest in, it's the pricing out of the gate. From the standpoint of shelf life of their products it's the same as any TV or movie studio. They indeed must continue to produce quality products but the idea that every movie has to be Star Wars would be as crazy as saying they must always produce the game that goes to number 1.

    Not even Rovio's gone public yet so I really hope this is just to see what the interest level is for the sake of the staff. Though given the recent fate of OMGPOP, I'm not sure why anyone would toy with the idea of taking a mobile/social game company public. There really needs to be a crash or deflation of some kind again in games because the industry is really starting to get out of control.

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