The billion-dollar game that helps you think and strategize

“When I’m stressed, it helps me to calm down. When I need to think and strategize, a level does the magic. Even when I need to be relaxed enough to sleep, playing lulls me to sleep,” Mary told The Nerve.

The 24-year-old Administrative Officer at a Lagos, Nigeria-based Human Resources Consultancy says she could never forget the day a colleague introduced her to Candy Crush Saga — February 6, 2014. “Our love has grown stronger ever since.”

Mary, who asked that her last name should not be published, claims she is not ashamed of her “Candy Crush Saga”.

Although she plays at least thrice a week and spends an average of $5 a day to buy moves and lollipops, Mary J. insists she is not addicted to Candy Crush.

“I use the game to my advantage. It does not affect my productivity in any way.” However, she is now on level 808 and she says she isn’t bored yet. “I don’t even think there’s a chance.”

Mary is one of the millions of people around the world to have fallen in love with Candy Crush Saga, a match-three puzzle video game released by Irish social games company, King Digital Entertainment on April 12, 2012. The game is estimated to make $1,000,000 per day from its users, according to Appdata. In the last three months of 2013 alone, players spent $493 million on in-app purchases of extra moves, lives and power-ups, according to King’s IPO filing. The game has been downloaded more than 500 million times. The success of Candy Crush Saga reflects in King’s revenue which grew to $2.260 billion in 2014.

Although the game is just a commute-killer for many of its players, it exploits some well known weaknesses in the human brain to keep them playing. Thanks to their addiction, King Digital Entertainment’s IPO in 2014 was a success. It priced its offering at $22.50 a share, valuing it at more than $7 billion. Although its stock dropped 16 percent after it started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Candy Crush is still addictive and millions of people are still playing and paying for virtual items to stay in the game. US gaming company Activision Blizzard saw this and has placed a big bet on King, announcing on November 2 that it is purchasing King Digital for a total equity value of $5.9 billion which will be paid in cash.

The boards of directors of both Activision Blizzard and King unanimously approved the Acquisition, which is being implemented by means of a scheme of arrangement under Irish law. The Acquisition is subject to approval by King’s shareholders and the Irish High Court, clearances by the relevant antitrust authorities and other customary closing conditions, and it is currently expected that the Acquisition will be completed by Spring 2016, a statement said.

Under the terms of the Acquisition, King’s shareholders will receive $18.00 in cash per share comprising a total equity value of $5.9 billion and an enterprise value of $5.0 billion. The purchase price represents a 20 percent premium over King’s closing price on 30 October 2015, a 23 percent premium over King’s one month volume weighted average price per share, and a 27 percent premium over King’s three month volume weighted average price per share and implies a multiple of 6.4x King’s estimated 2015 adjusted EBITDA.

The lovers of Candy Crush Saga need not worry. Nothing in the family is changing. King will Continue to be led as an Independent Operating Unit by Chief Executive Officer Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson, and Chief Operating Officer Stephane Kurgan, a joint-statement by the companies said.