A new report by Forbes, citing anonymous sources, says PopCap turned down a $1 billion cash acquisition bid from social gaming darling Zynga — maker of FarmVille and other hit games — in favor of the offer it accepted from from EA earlier this week.
The EA deal offers less up front — $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock — but more over time (up to $1.3 billion total) if PopCap can hit some ambitious earnings targets between now and 2013.
PopCap executives this week acknowledged that there were other bidders for the company but declined to go into specifics.
“There was a competitive process,” said PopCap co-founder John Vechey in an interview with GeekWire. “We explored a handful of options, and ultimately chose EA.”
He cited factors including EA’s strong cultural fit with PopCap, as reflected by its focus on making great games, and the ability to tap into the game giant’s publishing infrastructure.