Casual gaming company PopCap has formed a partnership with MMO developer NCsoft to launch an online, multiplayer social gaming platform in Korea later this year.
Registration and use will be free, but premium options and elements are due to be introduced at a later date.
PopCap World will be the first completed project for PopCap's Shanghai studio and will be operated by NCsoft, featuring thirteen of PopCap's games at launch, including Bejeweled, Plants VS. Zombies and Zuma. The portal will also be the only place to play a brand-new, multiplayer version of Zuma known as Super Zuma.
"When Disneyland first opened, it revolutionised the amusement park industry and ushered in the era of the modern theme park. In the same way, we believe PopCap World has the potential to redefine casual games in Korea and beyond by offering players the most immersive PopCap experience yet," said PopCap's Asia and Pacific vice president, James Gwertzman.
"We are very excited about our partnership with NCsoft – their formidable presence in the online market combined with PopCap's leadership in the casual and social spaces makes for an interesting recipe that we look forward to serving up to players in Korea – and beyond."
NCsoft, which saw an incredible rise in profits earlier this year, is best known for is ageing but hugely successful MMO Lineage. Vice president of its web business centre, Mr. Whang, was positive about the deal.
"We are thrilled to be collaborating with PopCap Games on this new project. PopCap is famous not only for the high quality of their games – they are a very talented developer – but also for appealing to an extremely wide audience," he said.
"We look forward to a successful launch, and to opening up this new world of fun to both our existing Korean users, as well as a whole new audience for whom this may well be their first online game."