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PopCap drops more IPO, acquisition hints

But new IP in 2011 unlikely, despite $100m 2010

Publisher/developer PopCap is moving ever closer to flotation, president David Roberts has claimed.

Telling CNBC that the firm has already filed a Section 12 SEC registration, he also stated that it had not entirely decided on an IPO as yet.

"I do think we'll be ready internally. Whether the market is ready remains to be seen. It has got to be right for us."

This was also encouraging acquisition offers, he claimed. "Whenever you file an S12, you're pretty much guaranteed that someone will come and try to buy you."

PopCap was in talks with several firms but some way from committing to anything, he claimed. "Our goal is not about an exit at PopCap. It's about creating this legacy of games that mean as much as 'Monopoly' and 'Scrabble' to the world."

Roberts also referenced Popcap as having revenue in excess of $100 million during 2010, with 10 million iPhone games sold, and becoming the third-largest Facebook developer with 4.7 million DAUs across two games.

Retail remains a strong performer for the firm too, with those revenues up 135 per cent since 2009 to $13.8 million. The nature of its games tends to mean long-tail sales, with Bejeweled remaining one of Wal-Mart's top five selling games for more than seven years.

However, Roberts stressed that new IP in 2011 was unlikely. "Don't hold your breath. If the team's not jazzed about doing it, we don't make them. It shows too much in the product if it's forced labour."

While new versions and platforms for relative perennials such as Bejewelled, Zuma and Plants vs Zombies were its focus last year, a 2009 trademark application has led to rumours that PopCap is working on a new franchise known as Yeti Train.

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.