The I.P.O. is no surprise, given King’s domination of the
booming mobile-game business, but it’s likely to end badly,
because King is part of a venerable tradition: the one-hit wonder.
Like Coleco, with Cabbage Patch Kids, or Ty, Inc., with Beanie
Babies, King’s business is dependent on its one star product;
although the company has more than a hundred titles, almost eighty
per cent of its revenue comes from Candy Crush. King has done a
great job of making money from the game, and of keeping it fresh,
but Candy Crush is still a fad, and, like all fads, it will fade.
Indeed, as King’s filing makes clear, the number of people who
pay for the game has already begun to taper off, as have sales and
The company Harmonix, which launched Guitar Hero and Rock Band,
games that in their day were as huge as Candy Crush, ended up
being sold, after a few years, for fifty bucks and a pile of debt.