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EA buying PopCap Games for $750 million
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) July 12, 2011


Electronic Arts said Tuesday it is buying PopCap Games, maker of popular titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Zuma, for $750 million in cash and stock.

EA said in a statement it will pay $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap.

"PopCap's great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA's momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business," EA chief executive John Riccitiello said in a statement.

"EA's global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels," Riccitiello said.

"PopCap has a proven financial trajectory with sustained revenue growth and double-digit operating margins," said EA chief financial officer Eric Brown said.

PopCap chief executive David Roberts said "by working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience."

PopCap games are played on platforms such as Facebook, RenRen, Google, the iPhone, iPad and Android.

EA said it expects the transaction to close in August 2011.

earlier related report
Ubisoft buys free online game startup Owlient
San Francisco (AFP) July 12, 2011 - Videogame publishing titan Ubisoft announced Tuesday that it is buying a French developer specializing in games played free on the Internet.

The purchase of Owlient comes as part of a strategy by Ubisoft to follow players onto the Internet, social networks, smartphones, tablet computers and other venues while still serving up blockbuster titles for consoles.

"We are thrilled to welcome the talented team at Owlient to Ubisoft," said Ubisoft chief executive Yves Guillemot.

"Over the last five years they have developed an architecture dedicated to delivering and monetizing games as a service, as well as the skills of attracting and retaining online communities," he added.

The acquisition follows the recent launch of a free-to-play online version of Ubisoft's "Tom Clancy" military action videogames.

The list of Ubisoft games available for free play on the Internet includes "CSI Crime City" and "Heroes Kingdoms" as well as "Settlers Online," which has reportedly become a hit in Germany.

Owlient was created five years ago by Olivier Issaly and Vincent Guth, who met at an IT high school in Paris, according to the startup's website.

Owlient boasts nearly two million monthly users in an array of languages and countries.

"Joining the Ubisoft team will allow us to accelerate our international business and to expand our expertise and our games to new platforms," said Issaly, Owlient's chief executive.

"We are proud of what our team has accomplished and confident that joining Ubisoft will allow us to continue that success."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and the acquisition was expected to close by the middle of next year.

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San Francisco (AFP) July 10, 2011
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