One of Popcap Games’ defining corporate traits is the irreverent and lighthearted personality it conveys to the outside world. Following the announcement yesterday that gaming giant Electronic Arts is buying the Seattle company for between $750 million and $1.3 billion, Popcap is going out of its way to show that its personality isn’t changing.
As some of you may have heard, we recently announced that PopCap Games is being acquired by Electronic Arts, a small mom-and-pop boutique software publisher. What does this mean for the future? It’s simple:
1. EA is being rebranded to Poptronic Arts
2. Sim Zuma: The SwampLife Edition
3. Peggle: Dead Space – Bjorn’s Breakfast
4. Bejeweled Battlefield Blitz
5. Plants vs. ZombEAz: NFL Lockout Edition
Ok, not really.
It means PopCap will join forces with one of the world’s largest game publishers, giving us access to many more resources and a greatly expanded global audience. It doesn’t mean that PopCap is going away or changing what we do or how we do it. On the contrary, PopCap’s creative culture is the main reason EA was interested in us. We’re not changing our focus from creating awesome casual games everyone can enjoy.
PopCap co-founder John Vechey offered a similar message — minus the top 5 list — in an interview with GeekWire yesterday. “We get focus on what we’re great at, and partner up with someone who is great at things that we’re not always that great at,” he said. “We’ve got a great publishing organization for our size, but the scale that they have is absolutely astounding.”
EA’s track record in the Seattle area isn’t stellar, having closed its Bellevue studio in 2002, five years after expanding in the region through its acquisition of Issaquah-based Manley & Associates.
But PopCap is a much bigger deal — one of the largest acquisitions in EA’s history. EA says PopCap will remain based in the Seattle region, and continue to grow here.
“This is not about cutting costs,” said Barry Cottle, EA Interactive executive vice president and general manager. “We believe in these guys, and we believe that for the future these guys can really help just take it to the next level in terms of building great games and being that foundation for us.”