Candy Crush maker forecasts lower bookings

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Candy Crush Saga players spent $1.33 billion on in-app purchases in the whole of 2014

King Digital, makers of Candy Crush, said that its second quarter gross bookings fell 13% and the company forecast a further drop this quarter as its most popular game Candy Crush Saga matures and new games are delayed.

Candy Crush maker forecasts down

King’s shares fell 9% in extended trading since the company reported an 18% drop in quarterly revenue, stating that fewer franchise games and a strong dollar were partly responsible.

King Digital makes games for mobile devices and social media sites, but has been struggling lately to boost bookings, which indicate future revenue, as new game launches were only planned in the second half of this year.

On Thursday the company said it postponed entering a gaming segment called mid-core until 2016.

“Today they’re setting expectations for the balance of the year and the truth is, it’s not exciting”, said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter to Reuters.

In April this year, the company released its first word game called AlphaBetty Saga, which launched on mobile devices in June. And in August, King launched a simulation game, Paradise Bay.

Gross bookings fell 13% to $529 million in the second quarter which ended on June 30th. Without the impact of the stronger dollar its gross bookings would have fallen around 6%. That beat the average analyst estimate of %513.1 million however according to Factset StreetAccount.

Gross mobile bookings fell 7% contributing 81% of total gross bookings. The firm expects gross bookings between $460 million to $485 million this quarter compared with $544 million a year before.

A rival company Zynga, known for the FarmVille and Mafia Wars games, forecast this quarter’s bookings below estimates last week as the company says it will launch some games in the last quarter of the year.

The number of unique users that play King’s games each month fell 1% to 340 million in Q2, down 7% from the previous quarter. Net income fell to $19.3 million in Q2 from $165.4 million a year earlier. REvenue fell 17.5% to $489.5 million.

SOURCE: Reuters.

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