EA buys up PopCap

Feel the ground shaking beneath your feet? That’s the cause of the deal struck between publishing giant EA and social games publisher PopCap today. That is to say EA now owns PopCap.

The publisher spent a cool $650 million on the deal, along with another $100 million in stock & multi-year earn-out. What does it all mean, you ask? Basically Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma, Peggle, Bejewled and a bunch of other gigantic franchises are now all under EA’s wing. These franchises have seen over 150 million games installed over multiple platforms. We’re almost able to count the major franchises that the company doesn’t own on one hand now.

Both companies’ CEOs have stepped up for comment. First to go is EA’s John Riccitiello: “EA and PopCap are a compelling combination. PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.”

“We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games,” said David Roberts, CEO of PopCap. “By working with EA, we’ll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience.”

Plasma Cutter plants and Necromorphs in Plants vs Zombies? Giant, coloured-ball shooting frogs in Mass Effect? Magical unicorn vehicles in Need for Speed? It’s all possible now.