Candy Crush game developer King set for IPO

King Digital Entertainment, the game maker behind app-sensation Candy Crush Saga, has announced its plans to join the US stock exchange in a floatation that could value it at $5 billion (£3 billion).

If King's initial public offering (IPO) is successful then some analysts believe it could trigger a spate of listings by other technology companies, including music-sharing site Spotify, mobile payment company Square and holiday rentals service AirBnB.

Candy Crush Saga was the top grossing app in Apple's App Store in 2013 and has been downloaded over half a billion times since it launched in 2012.

Despite these figures, the lack of proven long-term success stories in the mobile market could prove difficult for King.

"The challenge then for King is that they can maintain engagement on 'Candy Crush,' which is the majority of their performance, and that's the issue they'll have to work investors through," Mike Hickey, an analyst at Benchmark, told Reuters.

The success of Twitter's IPO last November, combined with the continued success of Facebook's floatation, could however encourage investors to take a chance on the stock.

"There's going to be a fair amount of demand," Hickey said. "In the mobile market in general, I think there's an appetite for people to find ways to participate and in a lot of ways this is a best-of-breed-type play."

Much of King's future success will depend on the company's ability to prove that they are more than a one-hit-wonder, something yet to be proved following the moderate reception of its latest game Farm Heroes Saga.