EA Buys Peggle Creator PopCap Games

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EA Buys Peggle Creator PopCap Games

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Validating recent rumors, EA has acquired casual games developer PopCap Games for $750 million in cash and stock options.

"EA and PopCap are a compelling combination," says EA CEO John Riccitiello in an official announcement [PDF].

"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."

Likewise, PopCap CEO David Roberts lauds the decision, saying, "We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games. By working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience."

Moments ago EA held a financial conference call during which Riccitello specifically cited the immense success PopCap has seen across a wide range of gaming platforms as a key impetus in this decision.

More specifically, Riccitello also cited the ongoing "explosion in microtransaction revenue" as a motivating factor.

Microtransactions are "clearly the dominant form of payment across Facebook and other social networks," Riccitello said, as well as "the underpinning of growth in digital business."

"It would not surprise me to see microtransactions as our largest revenue stream" in the near future, he added.

Though Riccitello was vague on how this agreement would affect the PopCap creative environment, it seems that EA is eager to explore the revenue growth options presented by PopCap's diverse fanbase, and their theoretical willingness to purchase additional gameplay options.

Done properly, this could add almost unlimited playability options to PopCap's wildly addictive titles. If, however, PopCap's new corporate overlords exploit Peggle, Bejeweled and Plants Vs Zombies in the name of the almighty dollar, fans may find themselves far less willing to destroy their productivity via color-coded gems and chlorophyll-thirsty shambling corpses.

In the meantime, PopCap is approaching the announcement with the company's trademark wit. Whereas EA issued a terse, formal announcement on the subject, PopCap's PR department would rather let its zombies break the news.

You can find the company's official word attached to the top-right of this article.

Update: Curious as to how this deal would affect PopCap's creative environment, we reached out to Garth Chouteau, the firm's Vice President of Public Relations, who offered the following statement:

I can only say that PopCap will remain an autonomous entity for the foreseeable future, and that EA truly values the creative environment PopCap has cultivated and has no plans to change that. In fact, the expectation on both sides is that EA will bring resources and economies of scale that will enable our game designers and engineers to do an even better job making new games.

In this same vein, PopCap's website now hosts an open letter to its fans that is equal parts reassuring, and far more witty about this whole situation than anything we professional gaming journalists are likely to write.

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I'm not sure how to take this news...

Let's go with optimistic.

Hopefully EAs money will somehow do a lot of good in this situation and we can see many more PopCap games :3

Wait, what?! Excuse me for a minute. *walks outside.*

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKK

God fucking damn it yet another decent developer down the drain.

What's wrong EA? That playfish buy not working so great for you? Well that's what happens when you buy a studio with no decent future plan and the costs of which force you to have layoffs.

Hopefully you don't make the same mistake with this.

Can't see this changing things that much, honestly. PopCap was always casual, and their publishing style already mimics EA's, so I don't see their games changing at all.

Except maybe the publishing options. EA does a fair bit more deals than PopCap.

So same games for cheaper. On the other hand, EA's social networking crap shoved in. Okay, win some lose some.

AndyFromMonday:
God fucking damn it yet another decent developer down the drain.

My thoughts exactly, though one can have really pointless unfounded optimism that EA have learned their mistakes... not fucking likely but still.

I see only good things coming from this acquisition. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to play all the fine games made by Bullfrog and Westwood after their similar acquisitions.

well I dont see how this could be a good idea for popcap, its great for ea, just not good for popcap

well, I guess its great for ea until they start messing with popcap and fuck it up and all the good people leave

<cynicism>

Looking forward to the new yearly treat of Plants vs Zombies 2012/13/14/15/16/17....repeat ad infinitum

</cynicism>

But seriously, let's just wait and see what happens. As an aside, is there any chance we could have the "Thriller" zombie back now please? Disco zombie is lame, and makes no sense.

Good thing for EA, I can say that.

Also, anything that has the zombies writing more letters is good.

And suddenly Popcap games disappear from Steam only to reappear on Origin...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NO! NO!NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! NEIN! GODFUCKING DAMN YOU EA DAMN YOU TO THE FOULEST PIT ON EARTH FROM WHICH YOU CRAWLED OUT OF!

By years end Popcap will be non-existent once all original dev team members are pulled to work on another game, new fuck tards are put in their place, and the developers name will be one in the same with shit. I refuse to be optimistic because i know that's how it will happen. EA will gut the dev staff, redistribute it to other projects, replace it with other people, and then we will hate them both only EA will get even more hate.

It's a shame. I liked popcap quite a bit.

Yeah, EA's culture really did wonders for BioWare.

AndyFromMonday:
God fucking damn it yet another decent developer down the drain.

This.

It's only a matter of time before EA devours half the industry causing another company to rise up and start a war Team Fortress 2-style.

What great news! Can you imagine if Activision had bought them?

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NO! NO!NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE! GODFUCKING DAMN YOU EA DAMN YOU TO THE FOULEST PIT ON EARTH FROM WHICH YOU CRAWLED OUT OF!

By years end Popcap will be non-existent once all original dev team members are pulled to work on another game, new fuck tards are put in their place, and the developers name will be one in the same with shit. I refuse to be optimistic because i know that's how it will happen. EA will gut the dev staff, redistribute it to other projects, replace it with other people, and then we will hate them both only EA will get even more hate.

It's a shame. I liked popcap quite a bit.

"Nine" is a number. "Nein" is German for "No"

Also in agreement though. Glad I already have the PopCap library. Also glad I barely give money to EA anyway. Don't think I'm buying an EA game (at least for myself) until ME3 anyway.

You know the only thing that could possibly make this any better is all the crying that is going to go on in this thread. I absolutely love it.

Considering that pop cap makes animated games that sell for around twenty bucks I assume they'll use most of that money on gold plating everything within a mile radius of the studio. I assume this also means at least one more sequel to everything they've already made until they're forced to make something new.

Now watch and see as it has its soul drained by EA.

(some folks still thonk EA dont ruin things, so I hope thy see this)
(though to be fair I neve cared about popcap or games like plants v zombies)

It's a better deal than playfish

I think this about sums up my reaction simply reading the article heading. Go to that same link if you want my reaction once I was done reading. I feel sorry for the zombies in that picture. They have no idea what horrors await them.

Something about an extra credits video on EA and how they buy developers that don't necessarily fit into their corporate culture comes to mind...

:(

That ruined my day...

Atleast it wasn't Activision.

image

I think this fairly accurately sums up everything that can be said about this news. Today is a dark day indeed.

PopCap, 2000 - 12 July, 2011; You will be missed.

Saaay, can we wait until EA actually kills the studio before we start saying they are dead? Who knows, maybe nothing bad will happen to PopCap.

Also, I'm looking to buy some bridges.

I love PopCap and hope the best for them. EA isn't all bad after all...

New Troll:
I love PopCap and hope the best for them. EA isn't all bad after all...

Your name isn't doing you any good with that comment... just saying :p

Great I can't wait to start paying extra for more balls in Peggle or having to buy sunflowers in Plants Vs Zombies -_-

This actually makes me a little sad. Part of what made me love PopCap was its creation of 4th and Battery, which is not something we'd ever see coming from a major publisher. PopCap may retain autonomy and this may be a great deal, but the bottom line is that they're going to be restricted in some way from now on. Maybe not a lot, and in all likelihood they'll continue to make great games. But chances are good that they'll never be able to do something as out there as 4th and Battery is while they're under the EA umbrella.

TheSchizoid:

RT-Medic-with-shotgun:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
NO! NO!NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE! NINE! GODFUCKING DAMN YOU EA DAMN YOU TO THE FOULEST PIT ON EARTH FROM WHICH YOU CRAWLED OUT OF!

By years end Popcap will be non-existent once all original dev team members are pulled to work on another game, new fuck tards are put in their place, and the developers name will be one in the same with shit. I refuse to be optimistic because i know that's how it will happen. EA will gut the dev staff, redistribute it to other projects, replace it with other people, and then we will hate them both only EA will get even more hate.

It's a shame. I liked popcap quite a bit.

"Nine" is a number. "Nein" is German for "No"

Also in agreement though. Glad I already have the PopCap library. Also glad I barely give money to EA anyway. Don't think I'm buying an EA game (at least for myself) until ME3 anyway.

I always forget that.

gibboss28:

AndyFromMonday:
God fucking damn it yet another decent developer down the drain.

My thoughts exactly, though one can have really pointless unfounded optimism that EA have learned their mistakes... not fucking likely but still.

Surely after the last 100 times they will have learned... right?

... right???

EA really are going after Steam. In a few months they will pull popcap games from steam and make them only available on EA's version.

these will be the end of times forseen by the olden people

Well atleast the picture suits it well. Enjoy being zombies PopCap.

Not that I care eitherway as they were a horrible thing for the indie market

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