Web game firm King.com lifted by Facebook

BRITISH Facebook game developer King.com said yesterday it had seen “high double-digit growth” this year and that it has not been plagued by the same problems that have hit US rival Zynga in recent months.

King.com, which has become Facebook’s second biggest game developer by users, has seen sales explode in the last year, chief marketing officer Alex Dale told City A.M.

The firm, which is believed to be considering a US flotation in 2013, only moved into Facebook last year after years spent making games for other websites, but the platform has become King.com’s major source of revenue in the last 12 months due to the success of games such as Bubble Witch Saga.

Accounts filed in Malta and the UK show that Facebook games, despite only picking up since September last year, accounted for around a third of turnover in 2011.

King.com saw revenue of €44.7m (£36.2m) in 2011, with sales from Facebook gaming accounting for just under €15m. Profit was €2m, double the previous year, although Dale said the figures painted “an historical picture” of the business, with Facebook now expected to account for the majority of sales.

“We have seen high double-digit revenue growth, and expanded from 110 to 330 staff [in 2012],” Dale said. King.com has also opened offices in San Francisco, Malmo and Bucharest, and invested heavily in mobile games.

Dale said King.com was not experiencing the same slowdown affecting Facebook gaming giant Zynga ­– which has seen its share price fall 75 per cent in its 10 months as a public company – pointing to a change in user habits away from time-consuming games such as Zynga’s Farmville. “There is a broadening of the audience that play games [on Facebook],” he said.

King.com’s chief executive Riccardo Zacconi has hinted at a Nasdaq listing next year, but Dale said there were “no plans”.