PopCap are currently giving away Peggle for free to celebrate PAX East, and it looks like you can grab it even if you didn't attend. Once you've entered your details into the minisite, you'll receive an email with download instructions and a license key. I've confirmed that this works at the time of writing, but I don't know how long it will last.
EA has shuttered PopCap's Dublin studio following a period of intense reorganisation. The 96 employees, many of whom were tasked with localisation as well as mobile development, are apparently being provided with "outplacement support" or new positions within the EA infrastructure. More details after the break.
"So that's that then," tweeted PR manager Stu Taylor. "The emerald dream is over. To the pub, Batman!"
PopCap has been feeling the pressure from the emerging free to play and social markets following EA's buyout, and this move has apparently been taken to cut down on "duplicative" positions. That said, it always stings to see a British developer axed, and we wish the very best of luck to the 96 employees.Click here to read more...
PopCap co-founder John Vechey has reached out to confirm that they've had to make 50 staffers redundant in order to stay in business. Taking great pains to explain that EA took no part in the decision, he laid out plans to adapt in the face of the growing free to play and social markets, which "challenged" their traditional premium-priced app business model.Click here to read more...
Asked if EA are considering further acquisitions to bolster their ranks, following the successful buyouts of the likes of PopCap, Chillingo, Playfish, BioWare and others in the last few years, corporate development associate Carolyn Rohde's answer was an emphatic, "yes, definitely".Click here to read more...
PopCap co-founder John Vechey has stepped up to defend publisher leviathan EA after it received the Golden Poo award for being voted the Worst Company in America, beating rivals such as Comcast, AT&T, and even the Bank of America. Over 250,000 votes were cast, and EA picked up 64.03% of the votes in the final round.
But Vechey believes "in EA's leadership", praising the work Riccitiello has done as CEO, and suggesting that EA have been "relentless" in the pursuit of fair and balanced DLC pricing.Click here to read more...
Don't fear freemium! That's the message being put across by a senior PopCap exec this week. Bejeweled franchise business director Giordano Contestabile has reached out to the "curmudgeons" and "Cassandras" who have cried foul of free-to-play models in the past, and criticised freemium as an initiative that "will bring ruin on our beloved activity, replacing engaging gameplay with repetitive, exploitative viral mechanics."
Contestabile's opinion is rather that freemium games should not be judged on the first wave of social titles that hit the likes of Facebook, and that developers should look to age-old models, stating a mantra applicable to any studio in the industry: "Make it fun, and people will come. Make it fun, and people will play. Make it fun, and people will want to pay."Click here to read more...
For less than £2 you could be spending your days slaying zombies with foliage thanks to the weekend deal from Steam. A price difference of just over £3 in comparison to the next best deal makes it a tasty little bargain.
Plants Vs Zombies is simple tower defence at its best and with the addition of extra game modes, including the stress-free Zen Garden, there is plenty to keep you entertained here. At just under £2 you really can’t go wrong. Thanks to Chanser @ HUKD!
PopCap have decided to slash all of their prices by 50% until January 3rd, which is jolly decent of them.
There's a catch, though. Their biggest games such as Plants vs Zombies and Peggle are available on other digital distribution platforms for much less than the discounted prices, so this sale is best used to stock up on some of their smaller titles like Astropop, Mystery P.I. and Heavy Weapon.
When we announced that PopCap had been acquired by EA for over $75 million, many gamers were worried that the colossal publisher would impose major restrictions on the beloved mobile games company, and that they'd lose their creative indie image under new corporate management.
However, PopCap has spoken out to state that they'll never change the way they operate, and that EA gives them a great degree of freedom while taking care of the finicky logistical side of game publishing. However, there was a "bit of concern at the very beginning." We've got the full details below.Click here to read more...
The first PopCap Hits collection was a limp and pointless endeavour... but the sequel is well worth taking a punt on. Just over a tenner will net you Plants vs Zombies (one of the finest tower defence games of all time), the uproariously good Heavy Weapon, the surprisingly tricky Zuma and Feeding Frenzy 2. Which is filler to be honest, but who cares when you're spending about half as much as you would on XBLA and saving £6 on the next cheapest retailer!
Recent rumours suggested that EA was seeking to acquire casual juggernaut PopCap Games for the whopping sum of one billion dollars... and the truth isn't far off the mark. EA has now confirmed the PopCap buyout, as well as an aggregate payout of $750 million. Full details after the break.Click here for the full story...
It's no secret that every major company is trying to get their foot into the increasingly lucrative and overhead-free casual market... and according to new intel from TechCrunch, EA may be about to seal a deal of momentous proportions. PopCap, one of the juggernauts of the mobile and browser gaming scene, is reportedly in final-stage acquisition discussions with the mega-publisher - with the sum of $1 Billion US on the table.
This huge outlay will provide EA with a ready-made powerhouse for casual development (supplementing Pogo, who aren't exactly pulling their weight), and if it goes through, they'll be a force to be reckoned with. Or, you know, they'll make PopCap release fifty new DLC packs for Peggle before the year is out.
We've certainly heard that PopCap are involved in merger talks - and we'll keep you posted about whether or not EA are the prospective buyers. [TechCrunch]
PopCap recently ran a daily sale on the iOS App Store, and now Xbox 360 owners can get in on the savings. PopCap's entire XBLA back catalogue of casual hits has now been massively reduced and is ripe for cherry-picking.
As far as the best value is concerned, you'll definitely want to grab Bejeweled Blitz Live. It's now 200 Points instead of 800 (a 75% saving), and you can swot up on our full review for the details. I'm sure that I don't need to tell you that Plants vs Zombies and Peggle are also well worth a download, as they're PopCap's best games as well as their biggest. Finally, local multiplayer fans should make a beeline for Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank, which will provide you with countless hours of communist-killing co-op.
As always, hit the links to browse over to the marketplace, where you can download demos or buy the full games. Gold Members will need to sign in!
Developer: PopCap Games
PopCap are never above trying to replicate their Facebook success as full retail outings, and Bejeweled Blitz is no exception. Its tight time limits and aggressive leaderboards made for a casual smash- and to celebrate, no less than two versions have just dropped into my lap. An XBLA port acts as week two of Microsoft's Summer Of Arcade, whilst Mastertronic have released the popular gem-busting minigame on a disc for PC.
The premise of Bejeweled Blitz is very simple- and while I'm loathe to patronise anyone, I'll give a quick rundown of the mechanics. The objective is to match lines of three or more gems by swapping their positions or twisting a group of four jewels around a central axis. The more gems you destroy, the higher the score you receive; and making larger lines rewards you with explosive power gems and hypercubes that can annihilate entire segments of the board. But let's face it, you probably already knew that.
Once you've chosen whether to indulge in the regular or 'twist' species of PopCap's gem-smashing monster, you'll be loosed onto the familiar grid with its familiar gameplay... but this is where Bejeweled Twist makes its signature change to the formula. Unlike most casual games, players are given a single minute to make their matches. Once the sixty seconds are up, you're given a score and the whole process starts all over again.Click here to discover how much less can be infinitely more...
What: PopCap 50% Off Sale
PopCap are the original thieves of time. They've been developing their insanely addictive and utterly charming casual games for ten years now, and to celebrate, they've slashed their download games prices by 50%. Practically everything has been reduced- from Heavy Weapon to Peggle- but note that the recently released Bejeweled 3 is exempt from the promotion. Oh well.
If you missed their pre-Christmas holiday sale, it's definitely time to get involved. You don't know what you're missing!
PopCap know how to make great casual games. Their lineup may first appear to be friendly, cutesy throwaway experiences... but they soon consume your free time with hidden depth and undeniable charm. Anyone who's ever played Peggle or Plants vs Zombies will know what I'm talking about.
To celebrate the holiday season, PopCap have announced that they've slashed 50% from every single one of their downloadable games. This promotion ends on November 29th, so it might well be time to treat yourself to an early Christmas present!
PopCap have expertly crafted some of the finest casual games out of pure happiness, rainbows and a copious amount of crack- and they've slashed their iTunes prices to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Peggle, Bejeweled 2, Bookworm and Chuzzle are now all 59p for the day- which essentially means that there's no escaping the addiction. You'll doubtlessly know about Peggle and Bejeweled, but Bookworm challenges players to engage in lexical challenges and chuzzle is... well, Bejeweled with hairballs. 59p will net you some serious gameplay here. Thanks to fizz at Hot UK Deals.
Ubisoft's E3 Press Event brought us the grim exciting news that a Michael Jackson dancing game is on the way- and they've finally decided to give it a name. Entitled Michael Jackson: The Experience (no jokes, I beg you), this multiplatform title is set to utilise each platform's peripherals in a unique way.
The Kinect version is slated to project a 3D image of the player onto the screen (in order that you can see what you're doing... and to make sure that you don't moonwalk into anything breakable), whereas the Wii version is said to function as a traditional rhythm game along the lines of Elite Beat Agents. There's no word yet as to how the PS3 version will function, but it's been confirmed to utilise the Move controller and a microphone for a dedicated singing feature. Personally I hope that it's a next-gen Moonwalker revival... but that's just me.
For those who've been following the World of Warcraft scene this past week, Blizzard recently came up with the controversial plan of forcing the use of real names on the Battle.net forums... and was met by a massive (and well-deserved) surge of opposition. Predictably, Blizzard has now U-turned on the decision after the potential dangers of identity theft and online crime was brought to their attention in a big way.
The violent and intense backlash from Blizzard forum dwellers culminated in Bobby Kotick's personal information being plastered all over the site in order to demonstrate how easy it is to research addresses, phone numbers and family details. On a slightly more malicious note, a forum mod who signed up to the real ID scheme has had his school history, employment history and even information about his family splashed all over the place. I personally don't entirely approve of the means by which the aggrieved fans made their point... but it has effectively demonstrated the weakness in the Real ID scheme. The end justifies the means, I suppose. [Blizzard]
A mysterious piece of PopCap artwork has been doing the rounds today, depicting a decaying zombie hand clutching an enigmatic sign. Using a blend of guile, experience and good old fashioned detective work (and... you know ... the picture of the golden gate bridge and S.F. initials right there in the corner) we've deduced that something involving zombies will be occurring on August 2nd in San Francisco. Naturally, this has got to be an announcement of Plants vs Zombies 2 (the sequel to their wildly successful tower defence phenomenon) or a release of the original for home consoles.
We love PopCap here at Dealspwn, and we'll be keeping a close eye on San Fran early next month. And yes, we'll be wearing ribbons in our hair. Or our brainless bleeding scalps if our plant defences are breached. [Thanks, PC Gamer]
DeathSpank, the action RPG from legendary games developer Ron Gilbert, will be hitting XBLA and PSN next week... and frankly we can't wait. To get you in the mood and introduce you to Ron's trademark humour (that fueled the likes of the Monkey Island series), the latest trailer details the epic weapons that you;'ll be wielding on you quest.
I won't spoil it for you. Enjoy.