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.

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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

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LordRaymond

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Still EA>Zynga

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Granpire

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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.

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xzeroxsignalx

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

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igi_pop

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

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Death_Masta187

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

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AceCometh

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Wow. Just wow.

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Shadowblade2584

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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.

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Reyveign

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@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.

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pszone

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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

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YukoAsho

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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.

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Nonkik

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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.

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hornetine

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So much money for a fail cause

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jerusaelem

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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.

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kiopta1

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

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Frame_Dragger

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

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Lotus-Edge

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

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rat5112

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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.

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Shadow_th

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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.

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VolcanoMan001

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

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janrabbit

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Ummmmmm..... who are pop cap?

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weskeni20

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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(:

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VegetaMaelstrom

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"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.

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Reuwsaat

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1 billion dollars? for Pop Cap? Seriously?

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Agronot

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@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.

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GunBladeHero

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

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GunBladeHero

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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.

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swmdwn

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

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Inmate_69

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Why not put that billion dollars into Madden?

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smtgfx

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Nice but 1B is abit much.

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mnjiman

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EA will ruin PopCap if this deal goes through.

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Dareitus

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

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valcrist09

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

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warhawk-geeby

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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

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pszone

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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.

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Freynow

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Oh well at least it's not Activision..

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tko6070

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

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itchyflop

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astro pop whatta game!!!

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souravgames

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With this buy ea will become a gaming giant.

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jasopan

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Oh hell no..

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deathstream

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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?).

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dante-1776

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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.

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Gelugon_baat

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Apparently, Playfish isn't enough. :roll:

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packtop

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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...

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valcrist09

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

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csward

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

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thermalcold

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

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Superzone

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@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.

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Icehearted

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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.

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TerrorformZero

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

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endorbr

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Bleh!

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