There is a rumor circulating that PopCap Games, the makers of several popular casual games, is being sold for the tidy sum of $1 billion USD. According to TechCrunch, catalyst for the rumor, multiple sources have crossed streams and said that PopCap is in the process of being acquired. However, the buyer is currently unknown.
You may know the the Seatle based gaming company from such hits as: Plants vs Zombies, Peggle, Zuma and of course Bejeweled. PopCap is quite successful as an independant gaming company, reporting that it pulls in $100-$150 annually. The company has also been quite aggressive lately with the launch of their 4th & Battery experimental studio in April and their journey into the Zynga dominated social gaming sphere with the acquisition of the social gaming ZipZapPlay. You could call them the Pixar of casual games as they are the standard most newcomers are held to, so any buyer would have themselves a pretty nice settup to launch from.
Though their sources aren’t sure who the buyer is, TechCrunch has heard various stories on who it could be. Though hungry, Zynga seems to have been cowed by the high price tag. EA could be a possiblility, trying social gaming once more after they acquired Playfish. Overseas companies such as the Chinese Tencent and the Japanese DeNA are also possibilities. With their push into social gaming unearthed today, not to mention their pile of money, Google could even be the buyer.
PopCap representatives have declined to speak on the rumors, so there is no official confirmation that this deal is real. Future Customer Engagement Lead at PopCap Jennifer Kye, hastweet (but deleted) that the TechCrunch story wasn’t real saying “not true. Debunked.” If you head on over to MrPope you can see traces of her PopCap conversation.