King, the parent company of super popular game Candy Crush, has filed for a secret IPO.
Now seems to be the perfect time to file for a public offering, since the company is the number one top grossing app in the App Store, and just about everyone is playing it.
While those are good signs for the company, an even better time for an IPO would be after it delivered a solid follow up to Candy Crush.
Big games tend to have a limited shelf life as this chart from Benedict Evans shows. He uses Google Trends as a proxy for measuring popularity of games. It’s not perfect, but it’s a decent directional indicator.
Evans believes changes in user interaction drives changes in gaming popularity. Tetris was huge with buttoned controllers, then Farmville when Facebook popped up, then Angry Birds on touch screens, and now Candy Crush through touch and in-app payments.
As you can see here, all of those games had their moment, then faded.
This is the risk for anyone investing in King’s IPO. Will its primary game fade like everyone else? Or does it have another hit in the works. If it builds a second hit, then its IPO would be easier to sell.