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PopCap Games

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PopCap Games
PopCap 2012 logo.svg
It’s about time!
Founded: 2000
Founder(s): John Vechey
Brian Fiete
Jason Kapalka
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Key people: Matt Nutt (general manager)
Parent: Electronic Arts


PopCap Games, Inc. is an American video game company based in Seattle, Washington, USA. It was originally founded in 2000 by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka as an independent company, but hopelessly acquired by Electronic Arts in July 11, 2011 as a subsidiary, and since October 2013 employs about 400 people. Most of their games are available for a fee and are purchased through Origin or Steam.

PopCap Games' flagship franchise Bejeweled has sold more than 50 million units across all major platforms. PopCap games are available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Zeebo, mobile phones, PDAs, iPod Classic, iOS, Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, Windows Phone and in web browsers.

History

PopCap Games was founded by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka in 2000. They wanted to create games, primarily by learning from other Internet gaming sites. Their first game was Bejeweled, a huge-hit gem-swapping game, which was supported on all major platforms and awarded by Computer Gaming World Hall Of Fame in 2002. The company expanded in 2005 with the acquisition of Sprout Games, a Seattle-based casual games developer company like PopCap Games, founded by James Gwertzman. Sprout Games is the creator of the game Feeding Frenzy. The Sprout team helped PopCap to make a sequel to the hit game, Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown, with Gwertzman becoming the Director of Business Development at PopCap. In early 2006, PopCap International was opened, based in Dublin, Ireland, working on product localization, mobile games development, marketing, sales and business development.

On August 22, 2006, it was announced that PopCap Games had entered into an agreement with Valve Corporation to deliver PopCap's games via Steam, Valve's content delivery system. Beginning on August 30, 2006, 17 of PopCap's products became available via Steam. In keeping with PopCap tradition, each PopCap game offered via Steam is available for a free trial period as well as for purchase.

PopCap began another round of expansion in July 2007 by buying other casual game developers including the creators of an online consumer portal, SpinTop Games. One week prior, the company acquired the Chicago-based development house Retro64, founded by Mike Boeh, which is best known for their retro-arcade action and puzzle titles. After these acquisitions, the PopCap logo was rebranded, dropping the "Games" portion. PopCap's premium games list on their website are now mixed with other games from other developers/distributors.

On April 5, 2011, PopCap announced the creation of a new subsidiary, 4th and Battery, started in order to create "edgier" games. Their first creation was the game Unpleasant. On July 12, 2011, Electronic Arts announced it was acquiring PopCap for $650 million with an additional $100 million stock option. Since the acquisition by EA, the state of 4th and Battery is unknown; its website redirects back to the main PopCap site.

On August 21, 2012, PopCap fired 50 employees in North America in a move to address a shift to mobile and free-to-play games and evaluated ceasing operations of its Dublin studio. The Dublin studio was closed on September 24, 2012.

Games developed

Discontinued

  • Atomic Poker
  • Baking Life
  • Bookworm Heroes
  • Candy Train (although they are selling a free remake on the App Store, it is not listed on their site)
  • Lucky Penny
  • Psychobabble
  • WordStalk
  • Plants vs. Zombies Adventures

Why They Rock

  1. They are responsible for the creation of the first and ever popular Plants vs. Zombies game.
  2. They created awesome computer games with deluxe editions, such as the Bejeweled series of tile-matching games, Bookworm and even more.
  3. Good and catchy soundtracks for their games. The best part is that most of them make use of tracker music/module files instead of audio files.
  4. They created and released their own video game development engine called PopCap Games Framework (official name was SexyApp Framework, named after their original name "Sexy Action Cool") for making games, especially theirs.
  5. They have won at least 25 industry awards, including Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame status for the first Bejeweled game.
  6. Most of their amazing games to run both with or without hardware acceleration, they can be played with the mouse, and often feature multiple game modes based on variations of the core game play. Also, they are best known for their puzzle video games, including the Bejeweled franchise, the Pachinko-like Peggle and the tower defense title Plants vs. Zombies.
  7. Before getting acquired by EA, they had good customer support.

Bad Qualities

  1. Executive Meddling: Since July 11, 2011, PopCap Games has been bought by EA, serving as the publisher of their developed games, to greedily milk and butcher the Plants vs. Zombies series, with tons of pay-to-win abominations. As a result of EA's purchase, they no longer publish their games, just focus on game development instead. From that point forward, PopCap has only published Plants vs. Zombies games that are replete with microtransactions, after be purchased by EA they only developed seven games other than Plants vs. Zombies, very few compared to the 44 previously developed in the same time lapse of 11 years.
    • There was even a rumor about EA firing Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan for opposing microtransactions, which turned out to be false.
  2. Some of their PC games don't support keyboard.
  3. Their official website has been redirected within EA’s website. So that means you can't download their games that are already released in recent years, but you just only see them.
  4. Like Rovio Entertainment, before and after the development of their games, some of their games were similar to other games (ex:Bejeweled was Shariki, Zuma was Puzz Loop, just a few.)

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