Yes, that’s right Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled fans, PopCap Games has now been assimilated into the EA collective. Reportedly, EA’s ships and its millions of dollars in pre-written checks docked just outside PopCap studios in Seattle and issued the following hailing frequency: “We are EA. Open your doors and surrender your licenses. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your employees will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.” Shocking!
As was the case with countless game studios before it, PopCap had no choice but to submit, and are now being compensated with over $750 million up front, and another possible $550 million in bonuses on the way. There is also an extra $50 million which EA will be handing out as party favors (retention awards) to PopCap’s employees. It is customary, after all, to make the poor saps feel comfortable before throwing them out onto the streets two years down the line. Standard procedure, of course.
But seriously, all joking aside, there could be some good to come out of this little exchange. Great games could follow as a result of this new union. Maybe PopCap employees will simply be showered with money, but otherwise left alone to their own devices. I find it slightly unnerving that companies such as EA and Activision seem to be gobbling up every developer that they can get their greedy little hands on (and I still can’t seem to accept the fact that Mickey Mouse owns Wolverine and Spiderman); but things aren’t all bad. Whenever game companies merge, they always try their best to assure fans that nothing will change, and the games they love will only get better as a result. In the case of EA and PopCap, we will just have to wait and see. What do you think about it?