Last month there were more than a few rumors circulating around regarding EA potentially buying PopCap for upwards of one billion dollars. Official news hit today that not only is EA acquiring PopCap, but they're potentially paying as much as $1.3b for them. That $1.3b includes $650m in cash (hopefully delivered in gym bags full of $100 bills), $100m in stock, and a multi-year earn out where PopCap can potentially get another $550m if they meet certain earnings benchmarks over the next few years.

Why fork out this kind of cash for the creators of Peggle? Well, if the writing on the wall wasn't clear enough already, EA is serious about the digital arena. PopCap games are ridiculously good, and are known and loved by people worldwide.

Or, as EA CEO John Riccitiello put it, “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.”

So, congratulations are in order for PopCap. It's incredible to see an 11 year old company that makes (admittedly awesome) casual games selling for so much money.

[via TechCrunch]

  • Vimy

    wow
    incredible

    i new they had success, but I cant imagine them valued at 1 billion plus.
    I think they could have spent a lot less for this, or they could have just bribed away all the talent.

    good luck EA, seems a little excessive.

  • Anonymous

    Another studio consumed and ruined by EA.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Just like Firemint and Chillingo... oh wait.

      • Shrugemoff

        He's right. Chillingo and Firemint may still be making games but you will never see any games that are as great as the ones they made before they were acquired by EA. You will also never see any updates for the games they made before they were acquired. I've yet to see an update in the past months for Real Racing 1 or 2.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Every week there's at least one awesome Chillingo release, and Firemint was never crazy about updating their games because they didn't need to be-- Both Flight Control and the Real Racing games were fantastic when they launched. I think iOS gamers have been infinitely spoiled into thinking endless free content updates is something developers are required to do.

        If a game is great when it's released, it doesn't need anything!

      • http://www.firemint.com firemint

        We've got an update coming soon for Real Racing 2 :)

      • Shrugemoff

        Awesome! Glad to see you guys still working on great games. EA has some really good ones but it's always nice to see those independent developers (like Firemint, Chillingo, and Simogo) still doing what they do best.

      • Goolge

        you guys knows chillingo is just a publisher right and isn't actually making those games?

  • TheJBW

    Saddest news all day. I do not look forward to seeing Peggle 5:Black Ops

    • Adams Immersive

      I didn’t look forward to that either. Until you just said it!

    • http://twitter.com/MarkEightThree MarkEightThree

      That's Activision. I think you meant Peggle 2011, Bejeweled 2012, Plants vs. Zombies 2011, etc.

      • Blueknight1st

        And each one is exactly the same as the last with minor graphical upgrades.

  • KGameLover1

    Noooooooooooooooooo.

    This COULD be good, possibly, but I bet EA will turn PopCap into PoopCap. Hurray for Bejeweled Effect: Hot Pursuit :/

  • tim

    If EA can't do something more interesting that what PopCap have done with over 1billion dollars, it's time to close up shop and go home. PopCap have done some good stuff, but come on let's get realistic here.

  • Rad

    They talk about getting people with game making talent as part of the deal. With most of them being millionaires now why would they want to stay?

    • robotsvswizards

      if everyone who made a million bucks retired the entire world would be nothing more than lemonade stands

      • Stevenmilligan

        Exactly. Money is addictive. It's also relative. A million dollars may seem like a lot of money but if you buy $10,000 suits and twenty cars, it runs out quick. :)

  • Anonymous

    I can't imagine Popcap being worth that kind of money to EA. I guess that the potential bonus incentive money is to try to keep the talented programmers there, but still.....

    It's also probably bad timing by EA. Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies are nice little games, but I think that their best days are probably behind them. Let's hope that Popcap has got something besides sequels in the pipeline to justify their price tag.

  • robotsvswizards

    I DONT get it! Why is everyone so negative whenever a larger company buys smaller companies. 
    Besides IF PopCap is worth that much I think they already passed the small indie status that people seem to be so protective of.
    I mean, i get the whole "screw the man" logic but it really seems like EA more than any other large company seems to be helping more than hurting... Even as dumb as origin sounds they seem to be doing fine letting chillingo do thier thing and mingle with indie devs. If anything Since the buyout, Chillingo has given more small teams great opportunities than ever. 

    • burnedoutgamemaker

      You'll get it after you've worked in the gaming industry for a few years, if even that long ;)

  • PitchBlak14

    As long as they eventually release Bejeweled 3 for iOS, I'm happy.

    ...though now they'll probably charge typical EA prices for it.

    • Deth4U2

      Oh, you mean 99 cents during EA's special holiday sale? There's one every month it seems. Maybe they'll do a "The temp is too damn high!" sale in honor of this week's heat wave. :-)

  • rayray

    Umm try 750 million as reported by much more reputable financial news websites than toucharcade.  Fact check please.

    • Freefall Ninetails

      quote: $650m in cash (hopefully delivered in gym bags full of $100 bills), $100m in stock

      thats 750m

      quote: and a multi-year earn out where PopCap can potentially getanother $550m if they meet certain earnings benchmarks over the next few years.

      that's 1.3b

    • Stevenmilligan

      Learn to read, please.

  • Anonymous

    Well i guess i can say goodbye to any updates to any popcap games. Thanks a lot EA....

  • MrNomad

    So when EA gives the money to Popcap to buy them out, what does popcap do with all of that money???

    • burnedoutgamemaker

      Spread the wealth evenly among their hard working employees whom made possible their success over the years, right?  Nope, sorry.. that's not capitalism.  Come on now, you know what happens when companies get bought out.  Most often the execs agree to stay on a couple years as part of the deal while they plan their early retirement.  This also usually includes a move to a bigger studio location with all the fancy upgrades, and of course the hiring of more staff.

      • tim

        Yep and then the watering down of the vision and the loss of what it is that they paid all that money for in the first place...