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PopCap acquisition accelerates EA's digital business to $1bn

Publisher's $750 million swoop was a "full and fair price"; Other companies were looking to acquire Peggle creator

Electronic Arts' acquisition of Peggle and Plants Vs Zombies creator PopCap means the publisher now boasts a digital business worth $1 billion, according to CEO John Riccitiello.

In an email to staff following the announcement of the deal, Riccitiello said the company's $750 million swoop was a "full and fair price" for the casual games firm.

"Acquiring PopCap extends the leadership we have established since the investment in our flagship casual site, Pogo. It adds to our momentum on the mobile and social platforms and accelerates us toward our goal of achieving $1 billion in digital business in FY12," he wrote.

In recent months PopCap has received a lot of offers, including bids from other game companies

John Riccitiello, EA

"PopCap adds to our portfolio some of the best casual intellectual property in gaming – hit games that are growing fast on mobile and social platforms. Where some companies are built on a single hit, PopCap has made lightning strike again and again. They have built a powerhouse of evergreen casual properties and proven their ability to create new hits again and again on the fastest growing platforms – mobile, tablets, PC, online and Facebook."

He continued: "There is no denying that what we announced today was a business transaction – a full and fair price for a company that has demonstrated they can sustain success and transform to meet and set the pace for high-growth gaming platforms. The deal is compelling."

He added that other companies had been looking to acquire PopCap, but the company chose EA from a number of potential suitors because of its working culture.

"In recent months PopCap has received a lot of offers, including bids from other game companies," said Riccitiello.

"Ultimately, PopCap chose EA. Their leadership team tells us that in the end, the decision swung on their recognition of our culture -- the respect that EA shows for games and the teams that create them."

While PopCap games are available on multiple formats, the deal makes Electronic Arts the number two publisher on Facebook behind Zynga, with PopCap games pulling in 17.5 million monthly active users.

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Matt Martin avatar

Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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