EA acquires PopCap games for $750 million

By on July 12, 2011, 5:00 PM

After rumors and speculation late last month, Electronic Arts today announced an agreement to acquire PopCap Games. The transaction is expected to close in August 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. EA will pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap. 

PopCap, which employes about 400 people, provides casual digital games for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and social network sites, including blockbuster titles like Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Zuma. The Seattle-based company has more than 150 million games installed and played worldwide on multiple platforms: the Web, PC, Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Zeebo, Cell Phones, PDAs, iPod Classic, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android. In 2010, approximately 80 percent of PopCap's revenue was on high growth digital platforms. In 2010, PopCap made over $100 million in revenue.

Founded in 2000, PopCap was eyeing an Initial Public Offering (IPO) for the October 2011 timeframe. If EA's acquisition goes through, an IPO will no longer be necessary as EA is obviously a public company already.

Skeptics thought the gaming giant wouldn't go through with the PopCap buy, despite rumblings that the two were in deep talks. This is because EA recently told the public markets that it was through making big acquisitions, especially after buying Playfish in November 2009 for $300 million.

"EA and PopCap are a compelling combination," EA CEO John Riccitiello said in a statement. "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."

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

User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

Ironically, that sign looks like a tombstone and EA has certainly been the epitaph of many valuable game companies. Too bad.

ramonsterns said:

I should invest in the row boat industry, as we'll probably be neck deep in an ocean of half-finished casual games.

Guest said:

We picked EA because......... They paid the most money?

chaboi390 said:

LOL, What a Surprise !! (sarcasm)

Guest said:

EA will probably include SecuROM DRM with 5 limit activations on all casual PopCap titles. LOL!

pcnthuziast said:

EA eats another company... and you know what's gonna come out the other end. smh lol

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

What a total bummer. Another, great and innovative company, swallowed up by the conglomerates which will no doubt promptly kill any creativity for future PopCap games.

Guest said:

Booooo! Bad Move! Pop Cap's creativiy will go down the toilet soon

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't see PopCap as very innovative. Yes they have a couple of good games, but it looks like in recent years they mainly worked on porting their games to other platforms (phones, Wii, ...), making money off rehashing the same formula. Their Android version of Peggle is sold only on Amazon, and is said to be buggy. So anyone who thinks that being part of EA will make things worse, I think you've overestimating how good PopCap is.

EA might actually be able to put PopCap to good use with new games, converting EA franchises to low power platforms.

Guest said:

it just shows you how these tools think when the CEO does not say "hey with these guys we can make great games" but instead says "Soon...... 1 Billion dollars muahahahaha" with a Dr Evil little finger at the side of his mouth.

Bunch of tools

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest, that press release is obviously aimed at business readers (analysts, stock holders, ...), which is what that statement is the way it is. You can read the full release here (scroll down): [link]

hitech0101 said:

In simple words plants vs zombies great game but Call of plants,Need for zombies well they suck.

treetops treetops said:

If you do not like EA do not buy there games?

fimbles fimbles said:

How can piracy be killing the industry when someone can shell out 750 million big ones for a company that makes a few quirky puzzle games.

Someone here is telling porkies..

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