EA has announced plans to acquire Plants vs Zombies and Peggle creator PopCap for a massive $750 million, stunning the industry with the move.
The buyout will cost the firm $650 million in cash, and $100 million in stock. EA CEO John Riccitiello said his company made $100 million in the calender year 2010, and 80 percent of it came from digital sales.
“EA and PopCap are a compelling combination,” he said. “PopCap has shown accelerated growth in both the social and causal markets.
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.”
According to Riccitiello, PopCap has around 450 personnel, most of them stuck doing work on individual carries such as Android, and iOS. He says EA has lots of personnel who can handle localization, freeing PopCap developers to do what they do best: create.
“By working with EA, we’ll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience,” PopCap CEO, David Roberts added.
The EA CEO also revealed that PopCap had “received a lot of offers” but chose EA in “recognition of [its] culture” of “respect” for “games and the teams that create them”.
“There is no denying that what we announced today was a business transaction. The deal is compelling.
Beyond the business rationale, and the strategic rationale, I believe PopCap and EA share very, very similar cultural values. Above all, we both put the quality of our games first.”
Now that PopCap’s become EA property, Riccitiello encouraged employees to contact each other and get acquainted.
“They are an incredibly talented group of people – but you already know that from playing their games,” said the boss.
“Where some companies are built on a single hit, PopCap has made lightning strike again and again. They have built a powerhouse of evergreen casual properties and proven their ability to create new hits again and again on the fastest growing platforms.”