In 2016, Activision Blizzard finalized their acquisition of King Digital Entertainment, as they wanted ownership over the Candy Crush franchise. Activision Blizzard spent a staggering $5.9 billion dollars on the deal, which immediately made the Candy Crush series into one of the most profitable media franchises of all time, where it is currently valued at $4.96 billion.
The simple match-three puzzle gameplay style of the Candy Crush titles has been done in countless other video games in the past. The creators of Candy Crush just happened to be in the right place and the right time by creating a compelling version of the match-three formula on mobile phones and by monetizing the game in such a way that people will keep pumping their own cash into it.
A common headline around the time when Activision Blizzard purchased King Digital Entertainment was that they paid more for Candy Crush Saga than Disney paid for Lucasfilm (and by extension, Indiana Jones and Star Wars), as Disney only gave George Lucas $4 billion for his iconic media franchises.
The truth is that Star Wars has made a lot more cash over the course of its existence than the Candy Crush games, but there are still a lot of iconic movies, TV shows, and video game series that have made far less money than a simple puzzle game for mobile phones.
We are here today to see which media franchises are worth more or less than the Candy Crush series - from the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the most famous woman in video game history.
Here are Ten Iconic Franchises That Are Worth Less Money Than Candy Crush Saga (And Ten That Are Worth More).
20 More: The Marvel Cinematic Universe (28 Billion Dollars)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has defined a generation of blockbuster movies by proving that inter-connected stories that span several different films and genres can engage the audience and keep them coming back for more, even when it means checking out a character or team that they have never heard of before, as was the case with Guardians of the Galaxy.
The MCU hasn't shown any sign of slowing down yet and has the potential to keep going for years to come, with the next Avengers movie shaping up to be the biggest film of 2019. It should come as no surprise that the MCU is a multi-billion dollar business, to the point where it is currently beating the mighty Star Wars in merchandise sales.
19 Less: The DC Expanded Universe (4.919 Billion Dollars)
The DCEU contains movies based on some of the most famous fictional characters of all time, yet it has faltered at the box office compared to the MCU. There are films like Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League that have underperformed in comparison to their pedigree.
The DCEU has had a few successes, such as Suicide Square bringing in just under $750 million at the box office despite its poor critical reception, but the other movies haven't grabbed the imagination of the public in the same way as the MCU.
The divide between the DCEU and Candy Crush would be a lot wider if it wasn't for the recent success of Aquaman, which has propelled the ticket sales of the DCEU within spitting distance of Candy Crush's value, which means that the next DCEU movie only has to be a moderate success in order to push it over the line.
18 More: Harry Potter (30 Billion Dollars)
The Harry Potter franchise took the world by storm when the movies brought the series to new levels of mainstream success, which led to a decade-long saga of films being released.
Harry Potter has been a merchandise-selling machine on the same level as the MCU or Star Wars, to the point where the franchise has even been able to sustain several amusement parks across the world.
The fans expected the Harry Potter hype to fade away after the movies had ended, but the series has continued on in the form of prequel films, the Cursed Child sequel play, and a slew of video games that could keep on being released for years to come.
17 Less: Friends (4.8 Billion Dollars)
There are several shows that could be considered the "greatest comedy TV show of the 90s," with the likes of Frasier, Seinfeld, and The Simpsons being highly ranked among them, but it's hard to argue against the success of Friends during its heyday, as it was hugely popular throughout a run that lasted over two-hundred episodes.
Friends has made over $3.5 billion dollars in syndication, as it's still shown regularly on TV channels across the globe, but even that level of exposure isn't enough to help the Central Perk crew when it comes to beating Candy Crush in terms of cash.
16 More: Shonen Jump (34 Billion Dollars)
You might not recognize the name of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, but you will have almost certainly heard of some of the series that have appeared inside of it, as they include the likes of Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto.
The top ten list of best-selling manga series of all time includes six from Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, which consists of Bleach, Slam Dunk, KochiKame, Naruto, Dragon Ball, and One Piece.
One Piece alone makes a lot of money for Shueisha (the publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump) as its one of the best-selling comic book series of all time, but the magazine has produced many different popular series over the years, some of which have become worldwide hits.
15 Less: My Little Pony (4.3 Billion Dollars)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has become associated with the outlandish fanbase that it has spawned in recent years, but the history of the franchise goes back a long way and predates the birth of many modern "bronies."
The My Little Pony toy line debuted in the 80s and was aimed specifically towards young girls. The franchise has gone into hibernation and been revitalized several times since its debut, to the point where the Friendship is Magic era is considered to be the fourth iteration of My Little Pony.
The accumulated sales of the My Little Pony toys have brought in over $4 billion, with the movies and TV shows only bringing in a fraction of the money compared to the merchandise, but it still hasn't beaten the numbers of the Candy Crush franchise.
14 More: Super Mario (35 Billion Dollars)
There are many people who consider Mario to be the face of video games, even though Tetris and Minecraft have made far more money than any of the Super Mario games. The fact is that tetrominoes aren't really characters and most people create their own avatar in Minecraft, which leaves the iconic status to a portly Italian plumber.
The original Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System is the seventh best-selling game of all time, even if a large portion of those sales were due to the fact that it was a pack-in game for the NES, which is the same reason why Duck Hunt is the seventeenth best-selling game of all time.
Mario is the face of Nintendo and he continues to star in critically and commercially successful games to this day, which means that his status as the face of gaming is assured for the future.
13 Less: Assassin's Creed (4.3 Billion Dollars)/(Less)
The Assassin's Creed franchise debuted in 2007 and quickly became one of the most successful video game series of all time, which would go on to spawn other forms of media, including one bad movie.
There have been numerous Assassin's Creed games that span different parts of history, with the most famous being the trilogy that followed the life of Ezio Auditore. It was the beginning of Ezio's journey in Assassin's Creed II that really helped put the series on the map and helped propel it to mainstream success.
The twenty-odd games in the Assassin's Creed series have yet to be able to earn as much money as the Candy Crush franchise, which is likely due to a secret Templar plot to stop you from playing good games.
12 More: Disney Princess(45 Billion Dollars)
Disney Princess is the name given to a specific brand of animated movies that are released by The Walt Disney Company, which covers media related to eleven different princesses - Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Merida, Mulan, Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Tiana.
The individual movies that make up the Disney Princess line have brought in hundreds-of-millions of dollars at the box office, but the real profit lies in the merchandise associated with the brand, which has brought in over forty-four billion dollars. The mighty heroes of the MCU have yet to come to close to bringing in the kind of cash that is generated by the Disney princesses.
11 Less: The Legend of Zelda (3.44 Billion Dollars)
There are many Nintendo fans who will rate games in The Legend of Zelda series above those in the Super Mario Bros. series, with titles like Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Breath of the Wild counted among the greatest video games of all time.
The Legend of Zelda series might be a critical darling, but it's nowhere near as financially successful as Super Mario. The Zelda series has done incredibly well for itself and has brought in over $3 billion, but it was still outdone by Candy Crush Saga in terms of sales.
Nintendo doesn't need to worry too much about King, as the biggest media franchise of all time is associated with their brand...
10 More: Pokémon (Over 90 Billion Dollars)
When Pokémon first became an international hit in 1998, there were some people who claimed that it was a fad and would fade away when kids finally grew bored with catching them all.
Pikachu and his friends would have the last laugh, as Pokémon is the highest-grossing media franchise of all time. Those kids in the late 90s who struggled to choose between Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle didn't realize the scope of the journey that they would be embarking on.
The reason why Pokémon became so successful is due to the ways in which it became a true multimedia experience, with Pokémon video games, movies, animated series, card games, and all kinds of merchandise landing at just the right time to capture the minds of kids and adults all across the world. Pokémon has had lulls in its popularity to be sure, but the recent success of Pokémon Go has proven that the series can still draw in the crowds.
9 Less: Seinfeld (4.06 Billion Dollars)
Friends was one of the biggest comedy sensations of the 90s, but Seinfeld wasn't far behind in terms of popularity, or at least it wasn't in North America. Seinfeld is considered to be one of the greatest comedy shows of all time in its home country, yet it never found the same kind of international success as its contemporaries.
The lack of worldwide recognition did little to hamper Seinfeld's success, as the series has brought in over $4 billion in revenue from home releases and TV syndication deals. Seinfeld was still outdone by the King acquisition and all of the high-quality comedic writing in the world can't match up to a popular smartphone game.
8 More: Middle-Earth/The Lord Of The Rings (19.9 Billion Dollars)
The original The Lord of the Rings trilogy was one of the biggest hits of the 2000s, with three genre-defining movies that changed the landscape of the industry forever.
There was a long wait for any kind of follow-up to The Lord of the Rings movies, due to numerous behind-the-scenes turmoil and a last-minute switching of directors, but we finally received The Hobbit trilogy in the 2010s. which brought in a lot of money at the box office, despite a more mixed critical reception than its predecessor.
Our time in Middle-Earth has yet to draw to a close, as Amazon is making a TV show set in the Lord of the Rings continuity that is going to be the most expensive series ever made, which means that there are more tales to be told involving hobbits and magical rings.
7 Less: The Hunger Games (4.05 Billion Dollars)
The Hunger Games novels never had the name value of Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings when they were adapted into movies, but this series took the world by storm and propelled Jennifer Lawrence to stardom.
There was initially some grumbling about the original The Hunger Games movie, due to the similarities between its story and that of Battle Royale, but these doubts did little to stop the film from becoming a huge hit and spawning three more films, which collectively brought in almost $3 billion at the box office.
The Hunger Games franchise didn't have quite the same level of success as a Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings series, which is why it hasn't brought in as much dough as the Candy Crush franchise.
6 More: Star Wars (65 Billion Dollars)
It should come as no surprise that Star Wars is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time, even though George Lucas sold his company for less than what Activision Blizzard paid for King. George Lucas has made so much money that the exact number likely didn't matter to him.
The Star Wars movies have brought in an incredible amount of money at the box office, with The Force Awakens being the third highest-grossing movie of all time (behind Titanic and Avatar), with The Last Jedi a few spots behind in eleventh place.
The real money generated by the Star Wars franchise has come in the form of merchandise sales, with the toys being one of the biggest reasons why Disney was interested in acquiring the property in the first place.
5 Less: Mission: Impossible (4 Billion Dollars)
Mission: Impossible started out as a TV series in the 60s, but the franchise achieved new levels of success in 1996 when Tom Cruise starred in the first Mission: Impossible movie. There have been six different Mission: Impossible movies released, with the most recent coming out in 2018.
The steady release of the Mission: Impossible movies over the past twenty years has led to it accumulating over $3 billion at the box office. The star power of Tom Cruise has had a large role in the success of the Mission: Impossible series, as well as his involvement in the production of each film.
The numbers brought in by Mission: Impossible are partly due to the fact that the series has gone on for so long, yet it still can't match the might of the Candy Crush franchise.
4 More: Winnie The Pooh (75 Billion Dollars)
When it comes to the most financially successful franchises owned by The Walt Disney Company, you might think that Mickey Mouse, the MCU, or Star Wars might be the one that brings in the most money, but it's actually Winnie the Pooh who is the king at Disney.
Winnie the Pooh has brought in a staggering amount of money in merchandise sales, to the tune of over $70 billion, with the rest of the money coming from box office receipts of the Winnie the Pooh movies and home releases of the TV shows.
Disney might be known for its superhero and science fiction franchises, but the bacon is really being brought home by Pooh Bear.
3 Less: Terminator (3.52 Billion Dollars)
The Terminator franchise is made up of five movies (with a sixth due to be released in 2019), as well as a TV show and numerous video game adaptations. The entire success of the franchise has hinged on how incredible the first two Terminator movies were, which has led to diminishing returns with every other installment that has been released since.
The entire Terminator franchise has brought in over $3 billion in terms of box office numbers and merchandise sales, but it seems that the magic of the first two Terminator films is harder to repeat than anyone realized, even with Linda Hamilton returning to the role of Sarah Conner in the next one.
2 More: A Song Of Ice And Fire/Game Of Thrones (4.98 Billion)
There will come a time in the future when Game of Thrones is recognized as the most important TV show of the 2010s, as it managed to adapt a story with hundreds of characters and a complex structure of political allegiances (and back-stabbing) into a program that captured the imagination of the audience and left people wanting to know more about the land of Westeros.
Game of Thrones is gearing up for its final season, but we know that there are more stories to be told in Westeros, with a prequel series about to enter production. There is enough material in the backstory of A Song of Ice and Fire to make several TV shows, as well as the Dunk & Egg novellas that are just begging for an adaptation.
1 Less: Tomb Raider (3.12 Billion Dollars)
Mario might be the most iconic video game character of them all, but there was a period of time when Lara Croft almost plucked the crown away from him and became the new face of gaming across the world.
The Tomb Raider series helped to kick off the awkward adolescent phase of video game culture by promoting a beautiful leading lady in the same way an advertiser might use a starlet to endorse a product. Lara Croft is still considered to be one of the most recognizable characters in video game history, even though she has undergone numerous changes since the release of the first Tomb Raider game.
The Tomb Raider franchise has spawned numerous video games, three movies, and all kinds of merchandise with Lara Croft's face on the cover, yet the series hasn't earned as much cash as the Candy Crush franchise and is nowhere close to earning the same kind of money as Mario.