Love ’em or hate ’em, casual games are a multi-billion dollar business, and they’re here to stay. PopCap Games, makers of some of best-loved casual titles like Bejeweled, Zuma, and Plants vs. Zombies, has been purchased by EA Games for $750 million.
Electronic Arts is paying $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock to acquire PopCap, which specializes downloadable puzzle games. PopCap currently has games on virtually every platform known to man, including PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox Live, PSN, and Facebook. This acquisition backs up recent moves from EA to transition its business into a fully digital one, where physical discs will be replaced by downloadable titles. EA believes that digital downloads will overtake physical media sales as soon as next year.
Other recent acquisitions by EA include Pet Society developer Playfish, Flight Control HD developer Firemint, and Angry Birds publisher Chillingo. What this means to you is that PopCap will gain access to the resources of EA, allowing their games to reach even more platforms. If you’re a casual gamer, you’ll be able to get your favorite games easier than ever. If you’re a hardcore gamer… well, this isn’t really going to change anything for you.