Candy Crush creator King Digital forecasts lower bookings

Thu Aug 13, 2015 6:22pm EDT
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(Reuters) - King Digital Entertainment Plc KING.N said second-quarter gross bookings fell 13 percent and forecast a further drop in the current quarter as its flagship Candy Crush Saga matures and game launches are delayed.

King Digital's shares slipped 9 percent in extended trading after the company also reported an 18 percent drop in quarterly revenue, citing fewer franchise games and a strong dollar.

The company, which makes games for social media websites and mobile devices, has been struggling to boost bookings, an indicator of future revenue, as new game launches were planned only toward the second half of the year.

The company said on Thursday it postponed its entry into a gaming segment called "mid-core" to 2016.

"Today they're setting expectations for the balance of the year and the truth is, it's not exciting," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Reuters.

The company launched in April its first word game, AlphaBetty Saga. The game was launched on mobile in June.

In August, King Digital launched its first simulation game, Paradise Bay.

Gross bookings fell 13 percent to $529 million in the second quarter ended June 30. Excluding the impact of the stronger dollar, gross bookings would have fallen by about 6 percent.

Still, this beat the average analyst estimate of $513.1 million, according to market research firm Factset StreetAccount.   Continued...

Mascots dressed as characters from the mobile video game "Candy Crush Saga" pose outside the New York Stock Exchange March 26, 2014.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid