King chief executive Riccardo Zacconi said the company has more games in development than ever before as it tries to come up with hits to match the success of its flagship mobile monster Candy Crush Saga — and taking the opposite tack as other competitors like Kabam scale down their focuses to their biggest games.
King Digital Entertainment announced earnings today that exceeded Street’s expectations, with adjusted revenue of $569 million and earnings per share of 61 cents. Analysts expected adjusted revenue of $563 million and earnings per share of 53 cents.
Zacconi said the company’s goals for the year include increasing its leadership in casual games, expand into midcore games (or hardcore games that can be play in short amounts of time), enhance its marketing, and expand its reach to new geographies.
Zacconi said in his remarks to analysts that King has new titles coming in the second half of the year. One of them is coming from Z2Live, which King acquired earlier this year. Z2Live is in the midst of a soft launch for Paradise Bay, a resource-management game with a strong narrative, Zacconi said. Players create a tropical island in the game.
For the fifth quarter in a row, King had three games on the top-ten grossing games list.
“This highlights our ability to create and market hit games at scale,” Zacconi said.
Zacconi said that franchise games like Candy Crush Saga establish a baseline revenue for the company, enabling it to build on that with new games.
King also said today that it plans to bring Candy Crush Saga to Windows 10 devices. Users who download Windows 10 will have the game preinstalled on their devices for a certain amount of time after the launch on Windows.
King said that Candy Crush Soda Saga expanded the network of users during the quarter, bringing in new players and reviving lapsed players. But King doesn’t expect that trend to continue in the current second quarter.
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