The Swedish government wants “Candy Crush Saga” publisher King to pay a $397 million fine, according to the Swedish publication The Local. It reports the company failed to pay taxes after its sale to Activision Blizzard in 2016.
The Swedish Tax Agency, called Skatteverket, apparently thinks the country lost valuable intellectual property rights when King went to Activision Blizzard. “We believe that there has been a transfer of rights from the company in Sweden,” a Skatteverket spokesperson recently told financial newspaper Dagens Industri. “We want to tax this transaction for half of the value of the intellectual property rights.”
A King spokesperson reportedly told Dagens Industri the company doesn’t agree with the Skatteverket’s assessment, but it’s willing to work with the agency on a solution. “[King] regrets that the Swedish Tax Agency does not share our view on how King’s business should be taxed in a correct and fair manner,” the spokesperson said.
“Candy Crush Saga” is the most downloaded game of all time on iOS, according to mobile app analytics firm App Annie. The entire series reportedly made over $1.5 billion in revenue for King in 2018. “Candy Crush Saga” accounted for 63% of the spending, according to market intelligence company Sensor Tower. Its revenue increased 10% last year compared to 2017.
King’s latest, “Candy Crush Friends Saga,” came out in October. The free-to-play puzzle game has 380 levels, updated graphics, new game modes, and a bunch of animated friends willing to help players out with special powers, costumes, and candy. It’s the biggest launch for King in the past four years.