King has weathered some uncertain periods following its initial public offering, but it hasn’t proven all of the doubters wrong yet.
The publisher reported its fiscal first quarter earnings today, and it revealed that it has hit a new record in several important metrics. It has 550 million monthly active players, which is up from 481 million during the first quarter of its fiscal 2014. That’s a big jump, and it proves the game maker can still reach a massive audience. Additionally, the Candy Crush Saga company also reached 158 million daily active players and 364 million monthly unique players, respectively. All of those are new records for the company and represent the second straight month of growth in these areas. Mobile gaming is a $30 billion business, and King is one of the top publishers in that market. But all this doesn’t mean its time to stop worrying about the future of King, as player spending has dipped — a lot.
The number of unique players who spend money on King games has dropped significantly year over year from 11.86 million to 8.52 million. The paying gamers who have stuck around spend an average of $23.64 compared to $18.02 during the same period in fiscal 2014, but that’s not quite enough to make up the difference.
And that’s reflected in King’s gross bookings, which were down to $604.6 million in Q1 2015 from $641.1 in Q1 2014.
The company is expecting to make even less next quarter. It is anticipating gross bookings somewhere between $490 million and $520 million. And fewer players is probably directly affecting that guidance.
But King is trying to put a positive spin on the news.
“We are pleased by the sustained popularity of our games,” King chief executive Riccardo Zacconi said in a statement. “[That is] reflected in our second consecutive quarter of company-high network reach metrics, and we look forward to leveraging the extraordinary power of our massive player base in launching new innovative games in 2015 and beyond.”