Activsion Blizzard on Tuesday announced the completion of its acquisition of King Digital Entertainment. The $5.9 billion, all-cash deal for the mobile games developer was first announced in November 2015. The deal brings "Candy Crush" under the same roof as hit titles like "World of Warcraft" and "Call of Duty."
"We now reach over 500 million users across almost every country, making us the largest game network in the world," Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, said in a statement. King will work independently from Activision and will retain its executive officers: Riccardo Zacconi will continue as the CEO, Sebastian Knutsson as chief creative officer and Stephane Kurgan as COO.
With King, Activision Blizzard's franchises include "Candy Crush Saga," "Candy Crush Soda Saga," "World of Warcraft," "Call of Duty, "Destiny," Hearthstone," "StarCraft," "Heroes of the Storm" and "Skylanders."
"We see great opportunities to create new ways for audiences to experience their favorite franchises, from 'Candy Crush' to 'World of Warcraft' to 'Call of Duty' and more, across mobile devices, consoles and personal computers," Kotick said.
Just after the announcement of its intent to acquire King, Activision Blizzard disclosed the formation of an entertainment division to launch movie and television series based on its intellectual properties. "Warcraft" will be released June 10 in partnership with Legendary Pictures.
During its latest earnings report released Feb. 11, Activision Blizzard announced the "Skylanders Academy" TV series. In January 2016, Activsion Blizzard purchased the business assets of Major League Gaming to further its e-sports ambitions and the ultimate goal of creating a television channel dedicated to competitive gaming.
No word yet on King's next game, but Activision Blizzard announced plans for a massive "Destiny" expansion for 2016 along with a new "Call of Duty" title likely in time for the holiday season. A "World of Warcraft: Legion" expansion is slated for the second half of the year. Blizzard's big game of 2016, "Overwatch," is slated for a spring release.
Activision Blizzard shares (NASDAQ: ATVI) were down about 1 percent in midday trading Tuesday to $31.20.