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PopCap explains why it chose EA

Hails publisher's "huge game integrity".

Casual gaming godhead PopCap Games has detailed exactly why it chose EA for its billion dollar buy-out announced earlier today.

Co-founder John Vechey told GeekWire that the two parties' shared goals was a key factor in the decision.

"They really accelerated what our goals were," he explained.

"The alignment of the strategy between the two companies is huge, from their Origin investment to their Jamdat acquisition, their Playfish acquisition, they really have the absolute world-class digital publishing organisation.

"We get to focus on what we’re great at, and partner up with someone who is great at things that we’re not always that great at. We’ve got a great publishing organisation for our size, but the scale that they have is absolutely astounding."

Vechey also hailed EA's core ethos and attitude to game-making in general.

"The second thing is that EA as a company has huge game integrity, and they really are, from John Riccitiello on down, focused on making great games.

"To me, that cultural alignment is so huge. Just the amount of time that we’ve spent with John Riccitiello talking about games. That, to me, is something I feel good about. That really was a big thing for me."

He went on to explain exactly what the purchase will mean for the studio's output, insisting that the buy-out won't mean a drop in the quality of its output.

"A lot of the business analysis was done on our current franchises, because that’s the way we do our current business analysis.

"We’re always investing and experimenting with new IP, but the last 11 years of PopCap history we've had five key franchises. They're not expecting us to have 30 next year, they're expecting us to make great games and make sure that when we do launch a new game it is really high quality."

The deal, announced last night, sees PopCap rake in $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock, with an additional $550 million in bonuses depending on various money-making milestones being hit.

PopCap's last major release, Bejeweled 3, is going multiplatform later this year following its PC launch last November.

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Fred Dutton


Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.


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