Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2017

King Digital Entertainment

by Jeffrey F. Rayport, Davide Sola, Federica Gabrieli and Elena Corsi


Riccardo Zacconi was the co-founder and CEO of King Digital Entertainment, the video game company which had quickly established itself as the world’s leading maker of casual games for mobile devices after the sensational success of its game “Candy Crush Saga.” Zacconi had only a few days left to decide what to reply to Activision Blizzard, one of the largest video game publishers in the world, which had offered to acquire King for almost $6 billion. King had already managed to successfully adapt to disruptive technological changes in the course of its history, could it continue to go solo? Or would an acquisition by a complementary video game maker like Activision be the best choice for King to continue to thrive? The clock was ticking but Zacconi knew that whatever the final decision, it had to satisfy one condition: Player was King.

Keywords: Organizational Structure; Technology; Business Ventures; Acquisition; Decision Choices and Conditions; Video Game Industry; Europe; Sweden;


Rayport, Jeffrey F., Davide Sola, Federica Gabrieli, and Elena Corsi. "King Digital Entertainment." Harvard Business School Case 817-117, April 2017.