SEATTLE, Washington - February 1, 2006 - PopCap Games®, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today announced its expansion into overseas markets with the opening of PopCap Games International. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the new operations center will serve as a local hub for PopCap's European and Asian business activities as well as studio facilities for international games and new title development. At the same time, PopCapTM announced that it would be a primary sponsor of next week's Casuality Europe conference, being held in Amsterdam February 7 - 9, and will have a number of business development and game development executives in attendance at the show.
PopCap's multimillion dollar investment in international expansion signals how serious the company is about supplying premium games in local languages and local venues. PopCap's existing and future overseas partners and customers will receive more immediate and direct interaction with the company in every respect, while reducing their costs and shortening production and deal-making timetables. Newly-localized games for some European markets will be launched this quarter, and international versions of www.popcap.com are expected in the first half the year.
PopCap Games International has already grown to 12 employees and could double in size by the end of this year. Over the next five years PopCap Games International is conservatively expected to create more than 50 new jobs in software engineering, quality assurance, art and design, production, IT support, and sales and marketing.
"We're pleased and excited to open our international headquarters in Dublin, which is actively growing its digital media presence through initiatives such as the Digital Hub and has historically been the preferred European center of localization for the software industry," said David Roberts, CEO of PopCap Games. " If we want to provide the same premium game experience around the world that our US customers have grown to expect, it's critical that we have PopCap staff as close to the customer as possible. Global expansion is our top priority in 2006, and this is a big first step toward that goal."
Will Golby, general manager of PopCap Games International, has a lengthy and successful record in the European entertainment software industry, most recently heading TKO Software Ltd. in Dublin. "Becoming part of the biggest hit-maker in the casual games space is truly an ideal situation for us - PopCap is growing apace with the whole casual games sector, and we look forward to spearheading that expansion on this side of the Atlantic."
Among the first games to be made available to overseas audiences are Bejeweled® 2, ChuzzleTM, Insaniquarium® and Zuma®; primary European languages targeted for rollouts in the first half of 2006 include French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. Asian localizations into Chinese, Korean and Japanese will also be available this year. Inquiries addressed to the new PopCap offices in Dublin can be directed to email@example.com.
The casual games industry is the fastest-growing sector of the interactive entertainment industry, with enormous growth projected in 2006 and beyond. The broad appeal of casual games across new platforms such as mobile phones as well as traditional PCs and videogame consoles is drawing new audiences to gaming above and beyond the traditional "hardcore" game player. Industry research firm estimates vary, but even conservative projections see the sector growing to more than $1 billion in 2006, with some estimates as high as $5 billion by 2009. PopCap is far and away the leader in the space, developing and publishing more hit games than any other casual games firm and attracting more than 150 million downloads of its games in the past five years.
PopCap Games (www.popcap.com) is the leading provider of casual games in the world. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 by three friends from the online games industry, and has grown tremendously in the past five years. PopCap's games have been downloaded more than 150 million times, and its flagship title Bejeweled® has sold more than 5 million units across all major platforms. PopCap games are available for Web, PC and Mac, videogame consoles, cell-phones, PDAs and other mobile devices, in-flight on leading airlines, and more.