PopCap games started as a small development studio in 2000, but has recently grown into a multi-million dollar company. Their first and most popular franchise is Bejeweled, which can be played on PC, Mac, iPod, all current generation consoles, multiple cell phones, and even in World of Warcraft. The company also has several other high-profile titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma, and Peggle. Naturally, PopCap Games has a very desirable portfolio, and it has managed to catch the eye of EA.
After weeks of speculation by those in the financial sector, EA has released an official statement that they will be buying PopCap games for $650 million, plus $100 million in stocks; however, the actual price of the acquisition may be as high as $1.3 Billion. EA’s CEO, John Riccitiello, had this to say about the acquisition:
EA and PopCap are a compelling combination. 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 CEO, David Roberts, also added his thoughts:
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.
Additionally, EA says that it will also provide up to $50 million in long-term equity retention awards to PopCap employees to be granted over the next four years. That means that PopCap employees with shares in the company will continue to get the dividends that they would have received, had the acquisition not taken place.