Fewer players, fewer payers: King sees 2015 sales slide 12% to $2 billion

Candy crushing

Fewer players, fewer payers: King sees 2015 sales slide 12% to $2 billion

Mobile games publisher King (NYSE:KING) , which will be formally by Activision Blizzard in late February, has announced its FY15 financials, for the 12 months ending 31 December 2015.

These are likely to be the final figures the company releases as a separate entity.

GAAP revenues were $2 billion, down 12% compared to 2014.

Profits were $517 million, down 10%.

Sales made in King's games - recorded as non-GAAP sales - were $2.1 billion, down 10%.

(The difference between the two is a measure of money spent in-game (non-GAAP) and consumables used (GAAP).)

King ended the period with cash and equivalents of $1.1 billion, up $143 million from a year ago.

On the turn

Drilling down into the October - December quarter itself, sales were $461 million, down 16% year-on-year and down 4% quarter-on-quarter.

"Our fourth quarter 2015 results reflect our continued execution on our franchise strategy," commented CEO Riccardo Zacconi.

"For the fourth consecutive quarter, both Candy Crush Saga and Candy Crush Soda Saga continued to rank within the top 5 grossing games in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in the US.

"We are also pleased to have launched the third installment of the Candy Crush franchise, Candy Crush Jelly Saga, which introduces new challenges and game modes, including our first 'boss mode', to offer our players another fun way to play one of the world's most popular games."

Down, down

Looking more generally at King's business, most metrics were down year-on-year.

  • MAUs were 449 million, down 16%
  • MUUs were 338 million, down 4%
  • MUPs were 7.4 million, down 25%
  • DAUs were 141 million, down 1%

The only good news in this regard was monthly gross average bookings per paying user were up 20% to $24.20.

In other words, King has been losing players and payers, but increasing the amount it generates from the remaining payers.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.