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Candy Crush Saga creator appears sweet on an IPO

King, developer of the popular puzzle game, is in talks with several banks about going public, The Wall Street Journal reports.

King projected the Candy Crush Saga logo onto a San Francisco sidewalk during a recent promotional event.
Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

The creator of hit puzzle game Candy Crush Saga is preparing to go public, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Anonymous sources told the Journal that King, through its holding company Midasplayer International Holding Co., has talked to several banks including J.P. Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse Group AG, and Bank of America to carry out its initial public offering, or IPO, in the U.S. This means King wants to sell shares of its company to public investors.

While CEO Riccardo Zacconi has mentioned an IPO as a possibility before, this report signals that the company could be getting serious about the move. But, the deals could still fall through, the sources warned.

For its part, King is not commenting on the report, according to a spokesperson for the company.

"King's success and growth presents numerous opportunities for the business to develop further, and one option would be to take the company public. However, while it's an option for the future, we would not comment on when we could consider making such a decision," reads the company's statement.

If the company goes public, it should learn from the recent woes of Zynga, the last big social gaming company to go public.

Others have not followed in the wake, despite finding success. Angry Birds maker Rovio has said in the past that it was considering an IPO this year. While it's been singing that same song for years, Rovio has been busy building itself into an entertainment company rather gamble on social gaming alone.

King started developing games in 2003. Relatively unknown until its recent successes on Facebook's platform, the company has a large portfolio of games, with Candy Crush bringing in nearly half its players, according to estimates. King boasts 190 million monthly players and 70 million daily players for its entire portfolio.

Candy Crush, a candy-themed game with a similar concept to puzzle game Bejeweled, is No. 1 on Facebook with more than 45 million monthly players, according to AppData, and it recently made it into "Gangnam Style" star and Internet video sensation Psy's new music video.