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EA has bought casual gaming giant PopCap Games in a deal worth $1.3 billion.
The Bejeweled, Zuma, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies creator will receive $650 million in cash and $100 million in stock. PopCap will be given an additional $550 million in bonuses in next few years for hitting money-making milestones. I'd like that kind of dosh please.
PopCap has 400 staff.
"As some of you may have heard, we recently announced that PopCap Games is being acquired by Electronic Arts, a small mom-and-pop boutique software publisher," wrote PopCap.
"What does this mean for the future? It's simple: 1, EA is being rebranded to Poptronic Arts; 2, Sim Zuma: The SwampLife Edition; 3, Peggle: Dead Space Bjorn's Breakfast; 4, Bejeweled Battlefield Blitz; 5, Plants vs. ZombEAz: NFL Lockout Edition."
PopCap will be able to draw on deeper resources and distribute to a wider audience worldwide. "We're not changing our focus from creating awesome casual games everyone can enjoy," the company said.
Buying the digital clout of PopCap is an impressive statement of EA's intent to aggressively pursue digital gaming.
EA snapped up prominent social gaming outfit PlayFish in 2009, in a deal worth $400 million.
Let's hope Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 can recoup some of that money.
Only one question remains: what will happen to PopCap's exciting new game Johnny Minkley's Meat Ceiling
Casual games like Peggle and Bejeweled help ease the symptoms of clinical depression, according to a new study.
The survey, conducted by East Carolina University and underwritten by PopCap Games, followed 59 patients suffering from depression for a month. Some of them played PopCap titles Bejeweled 2, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures for a set amount of time each day, while a 'control' group surfed the National Institute of Mental Health's Web page on depression.
After the study was finished, the test subjects who played games saw symptoms reduce by 57 per cent on average.
The professor in charge of the study, Dr. Carmen Russoniello, noted that subjects suffered no negative side-effects and went on to recommend that the games be prescribed by doctors.
"The results of this study clearly demonstrate the intrinsic value of certain casual games in terms of significant, positive effects on the moods and anxiety levels of people suffering from any level of depression," Russoniello explained.
"Given that only 25 per cent of people who suffer from depression are receiving treatment, it seems prudent to make these low cost, readily accessible casual games video games available to those who need them.
"They should be made available at health clinics, community centers, online 'medical sites' and given out by therapists as a means of intervention."