Trump was giving the State of the Union. This Democrat was playing Candy Crush, photo shows

Millions of Americans tuned in to hear President Trump deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night. But other Americans tuned his message out — and it looks like one of them is a member of Congress who was sitting in the House chamber for the speech. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., was caught playing the game Candy Crush on her phone as President Trump delivered his 80-minute message to a joint session of Congress, the Detroit News reports. A Getty photographer, perched overhead, snapped a picture of the second-term lawmaker in action during the speech. While Lawrence’s office didn’t respond to the Detroit News’ request today that she confirm she was playing the addictive phone game, Lawrence did speak to the newspaper after the speech to give her reaction. During that interview, Lawrence said she was disappointed in the president’s message and rhetoric. “When you know his policies and the things he has said and the disrespect, I cannot connect the words to the person standing there,” Lawrence told the newspaper. Lawrence was hardly alone in getting distracted. Two other lawmakers sitting next to her in the photo are also glued to their phones. And as some pointed out on Twitter, voters in Michigan’s 14th congressional district may not mind: Lawrence beat her Republican challenger handily in 2016, getting more than 78 percent of votes in the district. The Candy Crush picture was first reported by the Daily Mail. A handful of Democrats didn’t show up to the president’s speech at all, as McClatchy reported earlier this week. “This is a presidency that has been built on racism, stupidity, and lies, which has already wasted enough of America’s time and I will not waste any more of mine,” Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., told Roll Call ahead of the speech. At least 14 Democratic lawmakers decided to skip the State of the Union. That surpassed the previous record of 12 lawmakers Continue Reading

‘Call of Duty’ owner Activision Blizzard will buy Candy Crush maker for $5.9B

Videogame giant Activision Blizzard went post-Halloween “Candy” shopping in a big way. The maker of the mega-popular “Call of Duty” and “World of Warcraft” series agreed to buy King Digital Entertainment, creator of the “Candy Crush Saga” games, for $5.9 billion. The deal will give Activision — already the No. 1 video game maker in the U.S. — a bigger presence in worldwide mobile gaming as users increasingly shift from playing on PCs and consoles to smartphones and tablets. “With a combined global network of more than half a billion monthly active users, our potential to reach audiences around the world on the device of their choosing enables us to deliver great games to even bigger audiences than ever before,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. The purchase, expected to close early next year, would also bring more female gamers into the Activision fold. The company said 60% of King’s customers are female. Much like the makers of rival mobile games Angry Birds and FarmVille, Dublin-based King Digital has been struggling to keep the momentum going on the “Candy Crush Saga” series, in which players match colorful pieces of candy and solve puzzles. The company’s revenue fell nearly 20% in the second quarter. Its shares soared 15% Tuesday, to nearly $18, while Activision jumped 4% to nearly $36.  Continue Reading

Candy Crush Saga maker’s stock price soars 13% while rival Zynga’s shares plunge

The video game industry had more losers than winners Friday. King Digital Entertainment crushed it, as shares of the maker of the popular Candy Crush Saga games for mobile devices soared 13%. The jump in stock price, to $16.70, came a day after the company reported quarterly revenue and profit topped analysts’ estimates as newer titles made up for sliding sales of its older games. Dublin-based King Digital on Thursday also said it plans to buy Z2LIve, a Seattle-area game developer. Shares of rival Zynga, maker of FarmVille and other games played on Facebook and mobile devices, plunged the most in 2 1/2 years on Friday, a day after it forecast revenue that came in below expectations. The San Francisco company, which has struggled to keep its titles relevant with gamers, saw its stock price drop nearly 16%, to $2.24. Meanwhile, a report from research firm NPD Group showed the game industry suffered through a holiday hangover. Overall January retail sales of hardware, software and accessories fell 6% from a year ago. Gains in software, up 5% to $12.4 million, and accessories (up 3% to $5.4 million) couldn’t compensate for a 23% drop in hardware sales, to $54 million, NPD said. The top-selling game in January was the zombie survival thriller Dying Light, followed by Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Grand Theft Auto V. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

British pol apologizes after pic shows him playing Candy Crush during meeting

A British politician has been forced to apologize after he was busted playing Candy Crush Saga on his iPad during an important meeting. Conservative MP Nigel Mills was caught enjoying a go on the addictive game at the House of Commons when he should have been focusing on a Work and Pensions Committee evidence session. Videos and photographs published by The Sun showed him completely engrossed in the free-to-download mobile app. Mills, who represents the Amber Valley constituency in Derbyshire, initially said he would "try" not to be diverted by the game again. But his apology was widened after he came under fire on Monday, reports the Evening Standard. "I apologize unreservedly for my behavior at the committee meeting and realize it fell short of what is expected of a Member of Parliament," he said in a statement. "I guarantee it will not happen again. It's a fantastic privilege to represent Amber Valley and I hope constituents will continue to support my campaigns such as lower taxes for hardworking people.” Following the embarrassing incident, Prime Minister David Cameron described Mills as a "hardworking" politician. And he said he "was sure" he would "work even harder in future." Authorities are now hunting for the mole who leaked the footage to The Sun. There are concerns the filming and distribution of the clip breached parliamentary rules, which state people cannot photograph, film or sketch anywhere within the Houses of Parliament without permission. "This was a breach of the filming rules for House of Commons Committee Rooms, and will be investigated by the Sergeant at Arms," a Commons' spokesman told The Independent. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Tasty IPO: Maker of Candy Crush Saga cellphone game going public, valued at $5 billion

King, the firm behind hit mobile phone game Candy Crush Saga, is planning a U.S. stock market debut which some analysts think could value it at more than $5 billion and herald a flurry of technology company listings this year. The successful flotation of Twitter in November and a surge in Facebook shares have fueled speculation that a string of technology firms could come to market, including Spotify, AirBnB and Square, as well as King. But some analysts question whether King can keep up its breakneck pace of growth, particularly given the difficulty some other games makers have experienced in maintaining success. Zynga, the maker of Farmville, has seen its share price halve since its late 2011 initial public offering (IPO), while Finland's Rovio has struggled to replicate the success of its 2010 hit Angry Birds. "It's (Candy Crush Saga) a hot game and King is a fast-growing company, but obviously you have precedents for these type of companies that have been affected by the boom and bust cycles of the game market," said Josef Schuster, founder of IPOX Schuster, a Chicago-based IPO research and investment house. Candy Crush Saga, which involves moving candies to make a line of three in the same color, was the most downloaded free app of 2013, and the year's top revenue-grossing app. It has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The basic games are free, but players need to pay for add-ons or extra lives. The IPO prospectus offered a first glimpse into King's money-making machine, which generated $1.9 billion in revenues in 2013, or $5 million a day. It posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $825 million in the year, up from $28.5 million in 2012. By comparison, Zynga and Supercell, the company behind Clash of Clans, both earned around $900 million in revenues last year. Adam Krejcik, an analyst at Eilers Research in California, said the results in Continue Reading

Sour start: Shares of Candy Crush Saga maker King Digital down about 10% from IPO price in midday trading

“Candy Crush Saga” maker King Digital Entertainment’s market debut got off on a somewhat sour note on Wednesday. The video game company’s shares, traded under the symbol “KING,” fell as much as 15% in their first day on the New York Stock Exchange. In midday trading, the stock was down about 10% at $20.15. The company’s highly addictive “Candy Crush” puzzle game has been a huge hit, drawing 97 million daily active users and accounting for more than three-quarters of its yearly sales. King racks up revenues from the free game when people pay for extras like additional lives. Some investors are wary, though, that the days of the game’s rapid growth are over. “Candy Crush is definitely in a downturn,” Francis Gaskins, director of research for, told the Daily News. While King may not be a one-hit wonder, “they have to prove that with their other four games they can make money from them, and they just haven't done that yet,” Gaskins said. They have to prove that with their other four games they can make money from them, and they just haven't done that yet. King’s other games include “Farm Heroes Saga” and “Bubble Witch Saga.” Fellow video game maker Zynga has faced similar issues since its 2011 IPO, as it struggles to show it has staying power beyond its widely popular “FarmVille” Facebook game. King raised $500 million in its initial public offering after pricing its shares at $22.50 each, the middle of its proposed $21 to $24 range. The deal values the company at about $7.1 billion. King reported revenue in 2013 of $1.9 billion, about ten times that of the prior year. But sales shrank to $602 million in the fourth quarter from $621 million in the third, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia told the News. “I think revenue concentration in one game and slowing growth are what’s Continue Reading

Candy Crush company multi-billion dollar leader in Facebook games

With 100 million people logging on every day for a fix of its games like Candy Crush Saga, global gamemaker King is showing rivals not just how to hook players, but how to get them to pay. King is the latest among European tech firms like Rovio, creator of mega-hit Angry Birds, and Mojang, behind Minecraft, to make it big on the global gaming scene. But its stunning profitability in an industry littered with firms who failed to make money from popular games has made it a totem for others seeking to emulate its success. King's focus on the multi-billion dollar mobile games market - creating short, addictive puzzles for the fastest-growing part of the gaming industry - has helped it reap profits rare in its field. Though the company does not publish numbers, industry experts have estimated its revenues at $1 million-$3 million a day. Media reports now talk about an IPO valuation of $5 billion after a source recently said the company had filed to go public in the United States. King was set up in Sweden a decade ago by friends working at the same tech startup and got 34 million euros funding from Apax Partners and Index Ventures in 2005. It has been profitable since, a fact that analysts put down to its ability to persuade players to pay several times over to continue the same game. Its "freemium model", in which games are free but players can pay for add-ons or extra lives, has been particularly effective because of the success of Candy Crush, described by some analysts as a global phenomenon. "Candy Crush is one of the biggest mass market consumer games in years," said Adam Krejcik at Eilers Research in California. "They have been profitable for a while. This game has certainly brought them into a new category." The puzzle game, in which players line up gleaming 3-D sweets to knock out jelly, chocolate and liquorice, is available online, on smartphone and Facebook. It has held the No. 1 spot for apps on Facebook for nine months and is Apple's Continue Reading

Candy Crush creator trademarks the word ‘candy’

Videogame maker King, creator of the Candy Crush Saga, a game that has millions of fans around the world, said on Tuesday it had trademarked the word "candy" to protect the game from persistent intellectual property infringements. Created in 2003, King has experienced an explosion in popularity since launching on Facebook in 2011 with its saga games, in which players move through a competitive landscape and pass their friends on the way. Candy Crush Saga was the top downloaded free app for 2013, and the year's top revenue grossing app. It has been downloaded more than 500 million times since its launch in 2012. The company now says it wants to protect its game title from imitators who also use the word "candy". It has obtained a trademark from the European Union, which will apply not only to computer games, but also to areas such as clothes and footwear, the European Commission's trademark office told Reuters. "We don't enforce against all uses of 'candy' - some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask app developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so," King spokesman Martin Bunge-Meyer said. King is still waiting approval for a similar trademark in the United States, Bunge-Meyer added. King's games appeal to a growing trend for players, more and more of them female, to play puzzle games with their friends in short bursts, especially as games are increasingly played on the move on phones or tablets to kill spare minutes. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Candy Crush Saga is wildly addictive

LOVED IT: Easy and addictive gameplay, engages you from the start, level variations keep you interested HATED IT: It’ll take your money and you won’t even realize it, repetitive music GRAB IT IF: You’ve enjoyed Bejeweled, PuzzleQuest or Columns So this is what it’s like to have a crush on Candy Crush Saga. I tried to resist it, did so for months, even though a friend who knows my iPad gaming habits pretty well kept telling me it was worth a look. And now, here I am, at 12:38 in the morning, with only half a clue why my Lakers are trailing the Rockets. And it’s mostly because I’ve spent the last three hours dashing (ok, well not dashing, but it’s a nice descriptive verb) through levels in Candy Crush Saga, trying to catch friends, accidentally spending five dollars, and then, at long last, realizing that it’s time to write a review. If you haven’t yet experienced Candy Crush Saga, head to the iTunes App Store right now and download the latest iPad craze. It’ll cost you just a few fingertaps (yup, it’s free), or a few moments of Facebook setup. And then you’ll instantly be tossed into a Candyland-like world of Bejeweled-esque gameplay. Except it’s not just Bejeweled. While the Bejeweled influence is obvious – right down to the way more impressive matches yield powerups – Candy Crush draws inspiration from other games as well. There’s a deliberate, patient pace to this title, much like D3Publisher’s PSP-hit PuzzleQuest games, and there are other little touches that seem culled from such simple games as Snood. Add in the competitiveness and camaraderie that comes with a Facebook connection, and you have a sugar-sweet addiction of a game, even if there are moments of frustration. Games of this ilk, these match-three-in-a-row games, have been around for years, and perhaps none has reached the height of Bejeweled Blitz. But Candy Crush comes close. Continue Reading

California Candy Crush addict tears tendon in thumb after marathon session

A California man tore a tendon in his thumb after playing Candy Crush Saga on his smartphone non-stop for almost two months. The 29-year-old became addicted to the popular puzzle game while in between jobs after leaving the military and before starting his new role, reports LiveScience. He went to hospital complaining that he had problems moving his digit on his left hand. And an MRI scan soon found that he'd torn the tendon involved in thumb movement. He now needs surgery. Doctors were stunned that the man, who has not been named, only noticed he was in pain after he'd finished playing the game and not when the tendon had ruptured. It's led to suggestions that the video game had numbed his discomfort and that this may have contributed to his temporary video game addiction. "We need to be aware that certain video games can act like digital painkillers," Dr. Andrew Doan, a co-author of the case report into the incident, told LiveScience. "We have to be very cognizant that that can be abused," the head of addictions research at the Naval Medical Center San Diego added. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading