Bejeweled! PopCap Games to be bought for US$1bn

23 Jun 2011

Casual games firm PopCap Games, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, is believed to be in the process of being acquired for US$1bn. The firm, which is behind top titles like Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies, has not disclosed who the potential buyer may be.

The company was founded in Seattle in 2000 and PopCap has had a presence in Dublin for more than five years. Earlier this year, it announced plans to expand its workforce in the city to 110. It employs 400 people worldwide.

The company’s games titles are designed to work across most platforms – web, PC, consoles, tablet computers and smartphones.

According to TechCrunch, an acquisition is definitely on the cards but no one knows who the buyer will be. Having discounted Zynga, who decided the price was too high, potential buyers could include EA Games or an Asian games firm.

It’s flagship game Bejewled has sold more than 50m units.

Plants vs Zombies has won Golden Joystick awards and had two BAFTA nominations and is the fastest-selling iPhone/iPod strategy game of all time, selling 300,000 copies in the first nine days it was available on the App Store.

In early 2006, PopCap International was opened, based in Dublin and working on sales, marketing, product localisation, mobile games development and business development.

PopCap Games has won at least 25 industry awards, including Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame status for Bejeweled.

The company raised US$23m in venture capital in 2009 and has been tipped for an IPO.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years