A Crush On Mobile # Practice Reading

Source : http://www.economist.com/news/business/21677651-big-merger-shows-where-money-heading-industry-crush-mobile

COMPARE “Candy Crush Saga” with the “Star Wars” franchise (the right or license granted by a company to an individual or group to market its products or services in a specific territory)and it comes as a shock (a sudden and violent blow or impact)that the casual (happening by chance)game’s creator, King Digital Entertainment, would sell for almost 50% more than the $4 billion that Disney paid for Lucas film in 2012. But in paying $5.9 billion in cash and stock for King on November 3rd Activision Blizzard, a giant (a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.;major figure; legend)in video games for computers and specialist (a person who devotes himself or herself to one subject or to one particular branch of a subject or pursuit)gaming consoles (to alleviate or lessen the grief, sorrow, or disappointment of; give solace or comfort), is doing more than buying another industry leader. Its purchase is an acknowledgment (recognition of the existence or truth of something)that the future of video games, and of gaming profits, is in mobile, where games are usually given away, and where their creators make money by selling extra features to the most enthusiastic (full of or characterized by enthusiasm)players.

Mobile games have been by far the fastest-growing part of the market in recent years, and have broader (of great extent; large) international (between or among nations; involving two or more nations) appeal (an earnest request for aid, support, sympathy, mercy, etc.; entreaty;petition; plea)because of the penetration (the obtaining of a share of a market for some commodity or service)of smartphones (a device that combines a cell phone with a hand-held computer,typically offering Internet access, data storage, email capability, etc.). By Activision’s reckoning (count), worldwide revenues (the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.)from mobile games will almost catch up with those from PC and console games by 2019, reaching $55 billion (up from an estimated $36 billion this year). PC and console games’ sales are projected to reach $57 billion by then.

With “Candy Crush Saga” in its arsenal (a collection or supply of anything; store), Activision will have one of the most successful (achieving or having achieved success)mobile games yet seen, access to an active monthly user base of nearly half a billion people and dozens of new foreign markets where smartphones, not consoles, are the game platforms of choice. Those users might enjoy mobile versions of some of Activision’s hits, like the “Guitar Hero” series. The combined company will become the world’s second-biggest in terms of video-gaming revenues, with close to $7 billion a year, placing it behind only Tencent, a Chinese gaming and social-media conglomerate (a corporation consisting of a number of subsidiary companies or divisions in a variety of unrelated industries, usually as a result of merger or acquisition).

Activision has flailed (an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar)about in mobile gaming (even if it has had a recent hit with “Hearthstone”, a digital card game). Though King’s shares have weakened (not strong; liable to yield, break, or collapse under pressure or strain; fragile; frail)since it gave a profit warning in May this year, there are worries that Activision may be paying richly for its big move into mobile. James Gwertzman, the boss of Playfab, a provider of back-office technology for game developers, says it is not clear if Activision and King can add that much value to each other’s gaming platforms, in the way that Disney can exploit the “Star Wars” characters and stories across its various businesses.

There is also no guarantee (a promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc., or that it will perform satisfactorily for a given length of time)that King can establish another runaway success like “Candy Crush Saga”—although it has created a moderately (kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme,excessive, or intense)successful sequel in “Candy Crush Soda”—or that the flagship (a ship carrying the flag officer or the commander of a fleet, squadron,or the like, and displaying the officer’s flag)“Saga” game will remain a hit. The faddish (like a fad)mobile game of the moment, like, say Zynga’s “FarmVille”, can give way seemingly overnight (very quickly)to new franchise hits—in its case, to “Candy Crush Saga” itself.

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