updated 07:30 pm EDT, Tue July 12, 2011
EA pushing for a $1B digital business
EA has confirmed that it has established an agreement to acquire PopCap, a game publisher best known for mobile titles such as Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. The buyout will cost EA at least $750 million, which includes $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock. PopCap will also be entitled to additional cash compensation based on EA's future earnings through the end of 2013.
"We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games," said PopCap CEO David Roberts. "By working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience."
EA CEO John Riccitiello suggests the acquisition is part of the company's strategy to build a "$1 billion digital business."
In an open letter to PopCap players, the casual game publisher jokingly suggested the deal would drive EA to rebrand itself as "Poptronic Arts" and release titles such as Plants vs. ZombEAz: NFL Lockout Edition.
"Ok, not really," the company admitted. "[The acquisition] doesn’t mean that PopCap is going away or changing what we do or how we do it. On the contrary, PopCap’s creative culture is the main reason EA was interested in us."
The buyout still awaits regulatory approval.