Electronic Arts snaps up PopCap Games in a $1.3 billion deal

Electronic Arts (EA), the world's second-largest video games maker, has acquired leading casual gaming company PopCap Games in a $1.3-billion deal, aiming to shore up its position in the lucrative online online entertainment segment and extend its video games business to smartphones and tablets.

Under the deal valued at as much as $1.3 billion, which is EA's biggest-ever acquisition, the Redwood City, California-based gaming company will pay $650 million in cash and $100 million in EA shares for PopCap.

PopCap will receive additional performance based payments, up to a maximum of $550 million if it reaches $343 million or more in earnings before interest and taxes in its own business for the two years ending in December 2013.

PopCap is one of the few video games companies that have brought out a series of mass-market hits since its inception in 2011.

Its very first video game, Bejeweled, the puzzle game became a hit, which are sold every 4.3 seconds or more than 50 million units across a range of platforms in the last 11 years and the Seattle-based company went on to create a bevy of entertaining games, like Plants vs Zombies, Bookworm, Zuma and Peggle. Adaptations soon followed - for Xbox, PlayStation3, Nintendo DS, mobile phones, the iPad, and Facebook

PopCap, which so far has 56 games in its portfolio, said that it, had 150 million games installed and played worldwide on game platforms like the iPad, Android phones, tablet PC, and other platforms like Xbox, PlayStation3 and Nintendo DS.