EA acquires casual gaming company PopCap Games

Sensing an opportunity, EA hopes to expand its gaming reach in mobile devices

Electronic Arts (EA) has announced it has agreed to acquire casual gaming company PopCap Games to expand its portfolio of games for websites and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

EA will buy PopCap for $US750 million plus multiyear earn-outs. The deal includes $US650 million in cash and $US100 million in stock. In the earn-out, PopCap sellers will be entitled to additional cash consideration depending on certain non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings milestones through December 2013.

EA already has a wide range of games for PCs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and social networking sites. Some of the famous EA games include The Sims, Need for Speed, Star Wars" and sports-themed games. PopCap Games will add a range of popular casual games such as Bejeweled" and Zuma to EA's portfolio.

EA's reach will help push PopCap games into more digital devices in more countries, EA said. Casual games that do not demand extreme graphics are being increasingly used on smartphones and tablets. Games rank as some of the top downloaded apps from Apple's App Store in some countries.

Gartner last week said that worldwide spending on electronic gaming products will total $US74 billion this year, and continue to grow with the growing adoption of mobile devices.

The transaction is expected to close in August this year and is subject to customary closing conditions.

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Agam Shah

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