Electronic Arts will buy PopCap Games for $650 million in cash and $100 million in stocks. The owner of PopCap will get $550 million more from EA if PopCap reaches certain earning targets through December 2013, reported NYTimes.
EA, a powerhouse for serious and high-end games, is seeking to gain a foothold into what looks increasingly like the future of gaming in the US through its PopCap purchase.
PopCap's biggest games include Bejwewled, Zuma, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies. All these are casual games that are either puzzle or essentially 'mindless' in nature.
PopCap offers its games on the web browser and on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
The most popular titles on mobile devices, from PopCap and other developers, are mostly causal games. Users seem to like them because they fit seamlessly with the users' mobile devices and busy and multi-tasking lifestyles.
There is still room for hardcore games, but these are mostly limited to PC and consoles (for now) and have smaller reach compared to friendlier casual games.
Zynga, the leading developer of casual games on the Facebook platform, is worth as much as $20 billion, gauging by how investors are valuing its upcoming IPO. Meanwhile, all of EA (NASDAQ:ERTS) is worth only $8 billion.
This comparison sure makes a good case for the booming future of casual games.