Mobile and social gaming are in a huge valuation bubble - but that doesn't have to mean that disaster is coming.
Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz's widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial, is a weekly dissection of an issue weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.
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With more than 50 million copies sold worldwide, Bejeweled is PopCap's biggest-selling game. Then there's Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, Zuma, Bookworm... All success stories in their own right. The company's only been around for 10 years but from a foundation of three has grown into an operation of over 250 people, producing games that transcend traditional demographics and trends.
One of the great pleasures in a guilty layabout's life is watching telly while playing videogames. It feels like multi-tasking because you're doing two things at once, but you're still not actually achieving anything at all. It's only possible with mediocre TV programmes that don't require much attention (so The Practice, not The Wire), and repetitive videogames without a narrative (Bejeweled, not Final Fantasy XII).
This month I have mostly been watching Wire in the Blood while playing Zuma's Revenge. Or rather, Zuma's Revenge!, as PopCap excitedly insists on calling it. Turns out this is an excellent combination. Zuma's Revenge! requires just the right level of concentration to occupy the left-brain, leaving the other half to jog along with the predictable plots of Wire in the Blood. The result is simultaneous absorption and total relaxation. There's something strangely soothing about enjoying the endless plink and pop of coloured balls while Robson Green shouts, "WERE THEY ALL ANALLY PENETRATED, CAROL?"
Or perhaps that's just me. The point is, Zuma's Revenge! is gently engrossing and quietly addictive, just like all the previous instalments in the series. The problem is, Zuma's Revenge is just like all the previous instalments in the series. That's only an issue if you're a veteran, though - if you haven't played a Zuma game before, you're in for a treat.