PopCap Games is in the final stage acquisition talks for a sum of whopping $1 billion by the gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA). EA is placing a huge bet in this deal with such an enormous price. The offer is worth over 13% of the gaming giant’s market capitilization. However, Some in the industry thinks that this deal will be a Hail Mary pass from EA to break into mobile and social gaming, areas where the company hasn’t consolidated its position as it has in the console arena.
PopCap games are the makers of one of the top casual games of all time: Bejeweled. It’s a massive franchise in and of itself, and PopCap leveraged that success in the pre-social games craze to become the top casual games maker out there. There hasn’t been as much of a crossover between casual and social as people had expected, so this move may prove to be a catalyst for stronger casual/social titles. Imagine PopCap had access to all the Hasbro properties (Scrabble, Battleship, etc) — they could create something cool.
EA has some very successful franchises that accommodate casual users, but many of its successful titles appeal to the hardcore console crowd. However, EA’s standing in the mobile platform is weak and this is where the acquisition of PopCap could help them. PopCap’s flagship title of games includes Bejeweled (sold more than 50 million units across all major platforms) and Plants vs Zombies, each of which is a phenomenal hit mobile and casual gaming.