EA in 'late stage' discussions to buy PopCap?

Following rumors of a $1 billion buyout, TechCrunch fingers Electronic Arts as the suitor vying for the casual gaming publisher.

No Caption Provided

Source: See below.

What we heard: Yesterday evening, TechCrunch reported that casual game publisher PopCap Games was the subject of a $1 billion buyout. The AOL-owned technology blog listed three potential suitors: an unnamed Asian game company, Facebook game titan Zynga, or traditional megapublisher Electronic Arts.

Early this morning, TechCrunch narrowed the list of suspects to one--EA. Citing two unnamed sources close to the deal, the blog says that the Redwood City, CA-based company is in "late stage acquisition discussions" to buy the Bejeweled and Peggle creator, which is based in Seattle, WA.

EA is reportedly the suitor willing to pay over $1 billion for PopCap.
EA is reportedly the suitor willing to pay over $1 billion for PopCap.

PopCap's purchase price reportedly remains "a sum of over $1 billion"--some 13 percent of EA's entire market capitalization. TechCrunch's sources say the high price stems from EA's eagerness to expand its presence in the casual gaming space, with the move being described as a "Hail Mary pass." Investors are already wary of the deal, with EA's share price slipping nearly 4 percent as of press time.

If it comes to pass, EA's PopCap buyout would mark the latest casual game acquisition by the publisher. In November 2009, the company scooped up Facebook game publisher Playfish in a deal worth up to $400 million. Then, in October 2010, it netted Angry Birds publisher Chillingo--but not its developer, Rovio--for $20 million.

The official story: As of press time, EA had not responded to GameSpot's requests for comment on the report.

Bogus or not bogus?: Looking increasingly not bogus.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 66 comments about this story
66 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
  • 66 results
  • 1
  • 2
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for LordRaymond

Still EA>Zynga

Avatar image for Granpire

I wonder if EA will make their games a little updated... They've always been games poorly optimized for PC, and they need a bit of life put into them.

Avatar image for xzeroxsignalx

Unless your company is on the verge of dying, please don't sellout to EA. Eugh.

Avatar image for igi_pop

allright, goin' into research to see why the hell is popcap worth 1bil..

Avatar image for Death_Masta187

ill take 0.1% of that. hell I will even settle for .001% of that.

Avatar image for AceCometh

Wow. Just wow.

Avatar image for Shadowblade2584

Pszone@No. Hell No. If EA were good developers, they'd actually make a difference between every Madden game. I agree with YukoAsho. EA is directed toward "Hardcore" gamers. Popcap is family friendly and casual. And, like Shadow_th said, they effed up other developers, so of course they'd screw with the awesomeness that is Popcap.

Avatar image for Reyveign

@pszone Not to be a jerk or anything, but you really might want to consider using periods in your comments. It's a chore to read when your entire post is just one giant sentence, which sorta makes your reason for posting moot.

Avatar image for pszone

I found out today that shadow of demand flop in euope aslo there other game alice 2 so is EA Games loseing money the question is yes. EA Games only bring great games like battlefeild series and bioware games but EA Games no longer have vaule so popcap going same way if they dont mess up there old games

Avatar image for YukoAsho

If Popcap sells out to EA, the company will surely be destroyed, just like Pandemic, BioWare (in the middle stages of the decay), Bullfrog and Origin. And it will be just what the company deserves. The only thing I can think of is the developers themselves taking the money and running off like bandits, maybe making another company, while EA blows the ship away.

Avatar image for Nonkik

I love popcap titles and would think it sad for them to stop, but for people saying they are going to ruin the games. I don't think that's true popcap brought in 100million last year. So with 1 billion dollar buyout it doesnt make sense to ruin the games.

Avatar image for hornetine

So much money for a fail cause

Avatar image for jerusaelem

EA is like a slow growing cancer to everything they hook their disgusting little meat hooks into. They take a great pre-existing product, and slowly suck the life out of it until its a dry, brittle husk of what it once was. That said, this is depressing news.

Avatar image for kiopta1

EA is using its cash stores to grab land in the mobile/social media gaming kingdom...its the only way to be sure.

Avatar image for Frame_Dragger

Oh god... EA owning popcap? So much for good, inexpensive games from Popcap.

Avatar image for Lotus-Edge

Interesting...wonder what they're planning....

Avatar image for rat5112

Pop Cap has some fun little games (Plants vs Zombies especially) They had $100 million in revenue in 2010 but does that add up to a billion dollar buy out? I'd hate to think EA was going to just gut the studio.

Avatar image for Shadow_th

I liked Plants vs Zombies, so I'm not really happy about this. I think people are quickly forgetting what EA did to Bullfrog, Origins, Westwood and all other smaller studios.

Avatar image for VolcanoMan001

Here we go again. EA, stop gobbling up game developers! Down with EA!

Avatar image for janrabbit

Ummmmmm..... who are pop cap?

Avatar image for weskeni20

I dont think EA will ruin Pop Cap cuz there paying a 1B dollars i mean maybe they want to encorage Pop Cap but well MAYBE they really want to ruin pop cap who knows? At least its not activision that ruins there OWN Games... Guitar Hero, And Tony Hawk Destroyed Theres Only Call of Duty left but it wont be long before we see it on the ground... In the other Hand EA has some really good Games FIFA, Rebooted NFS with Hot Pursuit was nice, Dead Space, Battlefield....etc They arent the ones who develop the game but atleast they dont rush the studios they own who make them soo the game comes nice(:

Avatar image for VegetaMaelstrom

"Sometimes I wonder if people know the difference between publisher and developer before they make comments......." EA is the publisher that makes a habit of buying developers like Bullfrog, Westwood, Pandemic, Origin, Bioware etc. and then proceed to run them into the ground before destroying that developer utterly. Bioware hasn't been closed yet but if The Old Republic doesn't do huge numbers that could change in a hurry. PopCap is eventually doomed if they sell out to EA. History has proven this time and time again.

Avatar image for Reuwsaat

1 billion dollars? for Pop Cap? Seriously?

Avatar image for Agronot

@inmate_69, @valcrist09 Big IPs are getting too expensive and casual games are cheap to make and appeal to a broader audience. There are more casual gamers than hard core gamers...Nintendo proved that with the Wii! It's all about the bottom dollar. Though companies want to make quality games to retain gamers, they still want to make money while doing. That one game you love is just a successful product line from a business stand point and now it's on to the next revenue stream.

Avatar image for GunBladeHero

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for GunBladeHero

Then EA will charge for the online play if you bought it used. Oh, wait! I think you can't buy it used since Popcap games are only for digital release right? But EA will still find a way to charge you to play online.

Avatar image for swmdwn

EA presents Plants vs Zombies 2.. Is this gonna be good?

Avatar image for Inmate_69

Why not put that billion dollars into Madden?

Avatar image for smtgfx

Nice but 1B is abit much.

Avatar image for mnjiman

EA will ruin PopCap if this deal goes through.

Avatar image for Dareitus

Sometimes I wonder if people know the difference between publisher and developer before they make comments.......

Avatar image for valcrist09

why dont they put that billion $ into making better games?

Avatar image for warhawk-geeby

Doesn't EA just try to buy everything? They tried to buy-out Rockstar only last year.. Reminds me of a kid playing Monopoly :P

Avatar image for pszone

EA like spending money on companys and didnt see this coming gd for EA. On another hand why did Activevision didnt buy them out oh ya because they dont like spending out. Eeven the only hit Activevision got on there hands Call of Duty Morden warfare3 but the rest like spiderman and so on going to flop and ya they going to have layoffs.

Avatar image for Freynow

Oh well at least it's not Activision..

Avatar image for tko6070

soon you'll have to buy red squares as DLC in bejeweled

Avatar image for itchyflop

astro pop whatta game!!!

Avatar image for souravgames

With this buy ea will become a gaming giant.

Avatar image for jasopan

Oh hell no..

Avatar image for deathstream

I think this is a good match. EA has been bringing high quality games (and frequent sales) to Apples app store for a while now. PopCap has also been an iPad highlight (best playing Plants vs Zombies around AND the FREE Unpleasant Horse). If you want to see a game company rip off casual customers, check out Capcom ($100 for Smurfberries? Seriously?).

Avatar image for dante-1776

bye bye PopCap :-( it was fun as long it lasted. EA will be the end of casual gaming like its being the end of soo much fun the last years.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Apparently, Playfish isn't enough. :roll:

Avatar image for packtop

Seem like th trend of big publisher buying small publisher to ruin them aren't close to be finished. I don't care how big EA *COUGH*Activision too*COUGH* want to be but they need to stop buying publisher just to ruin them after...

Avatar image for valcrist09

1 billion $??? god damn that is more then what they bought bioware for..

Avatar image for csward

EA ruined Westwood, Maxis, Bioware, ect. Popcap is next. :(

Avatar image for thermalcold

This again is disturbing, a fun, small company being bought out by soulless, consumer indifferant mega-corporation. PopCap needs to remain small.

Avatar image for Superzone

@TheBlackKnight3: Correction: Activision is going to ruin video games. At least EA still produces quality (just look at Dead Space 1 and 2). Activision can't even say that much. They're just a corrupt, evil company that only knows how to run their own franchises into the ground.

Avatar image for Icehearted

I'd rather see a company like PopCap get mangled by EA than BioWare, but then it's harder to mess up a game like Peggle than a game like Dragon Age 2.

Avatar image for TerrorformZero

They're going to strech themselves out too much at some point. The EA logo is everywhere these days...

Avatar image for endorbr


  • 66 results
  • 1
  • 2