Turns out (one of) the rumors from the past few weeks are true -- Bejeweled-creator PopCap has been purchased by Electronic Arts for upwards of a billion dollars, an unnamed source confirms for Games.com this afternoon.
And the news is out. Electronic Arts has purchased PopCap for $650 million, adding its slate of critically acclaimed, best-selling games like Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma, Bookworm (and other) to EA's already vast library of games.
"We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games," said PopCap CEO David Roberts says in a statement. "By working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience."
"EA and PopCap are a compelling combination," EA CEO John Riccitiello says. "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."
EA will pay $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock will be issued to select PopCap stockholders. PopCap sellers will also be eligible for additional cash, based on PopCap's performance through December 2013.
This is an unexpected development, especially after PopCap had been very forthcoming about its plans to go public earlier this year. It will also be interesting to see how EA will help PopCap reach a new audience and how PopCap, in turn, will enhance EA's casual games business.