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EA: PopCap unlikely to receive more than a fifth of its earnout
EA: PopCap unlikely to receive more than a fifth of its earnout
June 14, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

June 14, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
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    13 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: As part of its annual E3 review, Wedbush has released several key statements from its Electronic Arts Investor Meeting, held on June 12th.

Of particular note is a disclosure from EA that key shareholders of PopCap, which it acquired in 2011, were "unlikely to earn more than $100 million of the earnout of up to $550 million."

PopCap laid off 50 staff in August of 2012 and nearly 100 more with the closing of its Dublin studio in September 2012. At this week's E3, PopCap showcased three new titles coming to various platforms: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, the previously announced Plants vs Zombies 2, and Peggle 2.


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Comments


Dane MacMahon
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From my perspective as a consumer it seemed like Popcap disappeared after EA bought them. It went from seeing their games constantly popping up on Steam and heavily discussed to nothing, zip, in very short order. I honestly can't think of a game of theirs since Plants Vs. Zombies, or one before that and after Zuma 2.

Maybe this is a marketing problem and they have done a ton more than that, but I haven't seen it. And now Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is coming exclusively to iOS for a while, something my wife is very annoyed with because she's a big fan but we get Android phones.

She just wants to sit on her laptop and load up some new Popcap games, she would LOVE to do that, but as far as both of us are aware EA has not made any for her to get.

Jeremy Reaban
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That seem to be EA's MO when they buyout companies.

Bioware seems to be the main exception.

But even Maxis, while they hit it big with the Sims, used to put out a lot of Sim____ titles. Now it's just The Sims and Sim City every 5 years

Michael Kelley
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That seems to be every publisher's MO. Same thing happened to OMGPop pretty much. I think it speaks more of mismangmnt than the earning potential of the mid-tier.

Eric McVinney
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@Jeremy - Don't know if you had played any of Bioware's titles before they were bought out, but you would see a (major) difference of quality - in terms of story, character arcs, and game design.

IMO, they're an empty husk of what they used to be.

Kale Menges
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Josh ua
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Anyone else realize that there is a 2 after each of their new games. Add Popcap to the already long list of developers that EA has bought, gutted, and destroyed.

Lewis Giles
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"Bookworm Heroes" was godawful mess. It just didn't feel like a PopCap game. The dull UI, the unresponsive mechanics and a horrible f2p model really led me to believe it was a title they didn't believe in and were probably forced to rush out so EA could feel good about their investment.

This is so depressing to me.

Jorge Ramos
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PopCap's criminal MO is that they seem intent on basically making something ultra flashy with as few actual gaming elements as possible for no other purpose than to try and create the digital equivalent of crack cocaine to the chagrin and dismay of the gaming public. Some have argued that Popcap was set to kill gaming in general, when all it's really done (more likely) was killing off any shred of decency in the name of casual gaming.

Since Popcap we've seen gameloft turn to some sleazy F2P's, and then pretty much all of Zynga's with its series of 'Villes and the all too infamous cow-clickers.

EA was foolish to buy them in the first place, and should have left PopCap to die if they wanted them that badly... so they could buy it up at Pennies on the dollar of whatever it is they were estimated to be worth.

Rob Graeber
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What are you talking about? Popcap didn't pioneer F2P..

Jorge Ramos
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PopCap got ludicrously successful on these "not-really-a-game" apps that appealed only to people that couldn't really handle a real game. Because of this, other studios (including Zynga) of course decided to try to ape their success or take it to the next logical conclusion.

John Owens
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Serves them right. They sold out their employees for a quick buck.

Off course EA was going to do what they did, I don't blame them.

Peter Kojesta
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"people that couldn't really handle a real game" is elitist nonsense.

When I was in my early 20's, I had the patience for hardcore games, now In my early 30's, I have many other things to do and find myself enjoying smaller, quicker gameplay experiences. I've been working on games professionally since I was 17, and I find your comments silly.

Daniel Backteman
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I agree. Age doesn't even matter, Peggle for an instance was pure, unadulterated fun playing multiplayer. I was in school when it came out and its infectious happiness crept its way to loads of people who could allow themselves to enjoy such a "simple" game. It didn't matter if they were rockers, car lovers, party people or game nerds like me.


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