The mainstream, multi-platform game developer giant known as Electronic Arts has acquired PopCap Games, a major contender in the online world of casual and social gaming. In one fell swoop, EA came that much close to their goal of being worth $1bn. Earlier this week, PopCap and EA settled on an acquisition price of $750 million. While some analysts are questioning the high price of the acquisition,urchase, CEO of EA, John Riccitiello insists that the price was fair and just. “Acquiring PopCap extends the leadership we have established since the investment in our flagship casual site, Pogo. It adds to our momentum on the mobile and social platforms and accelerates us toward our goal of achieving $1 billion in digital business in FY12,” he said.
The deal also wrangled in PopCap’s 17.5 million Facebook users, pushing Electronic Arts to be the second largest Facebook game publisher right behind Zynga.
There had been some talk in recent months of other gaming companies putting in offers and bids to purchase PopCap, but they were all turned down. What drew PopCap to EA was, according to Riccitiello, “…their recognition of our culture — the respect that EA shows for games and the teams that create them.”
Perhaps the most exciting part of this deal is how much attention the mobile and social gaming world is getting as a result. After reading through the user comments on most of the news articles, it seemed that a lot of readers were surprised to see how seriously a mainstream gaming company like EA is taking mobile gaming. There’s no doubt that mobile gaming has exploded over the past couple of years, so the merging of these two giants is bound to have a ton of impact on what we’re going to see in terms of smartphone games in the near future. Exciting, isn’t it?
Both EA and PopCap have developed and published many huge smartphone game titles such as Need For Speed, Tetris, Bejeweled, and Plants vs Zombies.