The incredibly successful, casual game developer PopCap Games has just been snaffled up by the ever expanding Electronic Arts. Continuing their relentless push to become the dominant publisher in the casual and mobile game market, EA purchased the creators of Peggle, Bejeweled, and Plants Vs. Zombies for the cool sum of $750 million.
According to EA CEO John Riccitiello: “PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.”
PopCap’s CEO David Roberts is equally upbeat (who wouldn’t be after a buyout for that amount of money?) and excited about reaching a larger audience thanks to EA’s size. Not that a sizable audience was something PopCap lacked; according to Kotaku PopCap has sold more than 150 million games across a ton of different platforms including Xbox 360, iOS devices and Android products.
What does this mean for PopCap’s crossover versions of Bejeweled and Peggle, which appear in World of Warcraft? Considering WoW is owned by EA’s biggest rival, the answer is quite surprising. Garth Chouteau, the VP for public relations at PopCap, has said that the EA buyout won’t affect the developer’s dealings with previous companies. Specifically citing Bejeweled and Peggle in World of Warcraft, Chouteau said: “The things that we’ve done with Blizzard in paying tribute to each other’s games, there’s really not been any money involved in those things, just game developers being game developers… There isn’t really a formal business relationship between Blizzard and PopCap.”
Chouteau also reassured fans not to expect massive changes in how PopCap approaches game development and platform releases. He said that the buyout will, however, allow them to bring existing titles to additional platforms much faster. Having EA’s substantial development resources will also help, we’re sure.