The Facebook version of the popular PopCap game, Bejeweled has hit 5 Million Users and has come out of the BETA stage. Five million people may have been on the game, but this is about one BILLION unique plays of the game. Personally I LOVE Bejeweled and being able to play this on Facebook against my friends seems like a fun thing to do.
PopCap’s Bejeweled® Blitz Makes 5 Million Facebook Friends During Beta
Casual Games Leader’s First Foray into “Social Gaming,” Attracts 5 Million Monthly Users After 6 Months as Public Beta
SEATTLE, Washington – June 22, 2009 — PopCap Games, the leading developer and publisher of casual games, today announced that Bejeweled® Blitz, the 1-minute version of its mega-hit franchise Bejeweled for Facebook, has officially launched and is now out of beta. Relying entirely on its own merits, the “social” version of Bejeweled has become a Facebook phenomenon, attracting more than 5 million monthly users after quietly debuting in beta form in late December of 2008. With new users joining at a rapidly increasing rate, Bejeweled Blitz now adds a new friend to the fold every second.
“One-minute Bejeweled was initially an in-house joke,” said Jason Kapalka, PopCap’s chief creative officer, “because who’d think anyone would play a ‘casual’ game with such a frenzied time limit? But it turned out the one-minute timer actually made the game more accessible, as a bite-size entertainment for people busy doing other things on Facebook.” John Vechey, PopCap’s head of online and social projects, added, “The social nature of the game felt like the missing link. Playing Bejeweled on your own was always fun, but playing with and against family and friends takes it to another level.”
While PopCap is not providing any details of its future plans for social versions of its other hits such as Peggle™, Zuma®, Bookworm™, Plants vs. Zombies™ and Chuzzle™, the success of Bejeweled Blitz is intriguing. More than 75% of the 5 million monthly active users are female and so far over 1 billion sessions of the game have been served. At this juncture the game, in which players race to score as many points as possible in a 60-second version of the world’s most popular match-3 puzzler, attracts 2 million players daily.
“Social gaming is a catalyst for growth in the games market and in social network services,” said Billy Pidgeon, video games analyst at Game Changer Research. “Giving consumers more communal and connected ways to enjoy video game content with their ever-growing online networks drives awareness and usage of the game in question while also making the gameplay experience itself richer and more compelling. Accessible and entertaining games on social networks are in effect massively multiplayer experiences that appeal to everyone.”