As is typical when an company like Popcap gets picked up by a company EA, there is some speculation as to how this will affect the identity of the smaller company. John Riccitiello, however, believes EA's acquisition of Popcap is a great chance for Popcap to grow its business.
"PopCap could continue to grow to its business, add to its business," claimed Riccitiello, speaking to Gamasutra, "and we've essentially created an environment where they get a lot more bang for their buck."
Of course, EA has bought Popcap for a reason - its proven skills in the casual gaming space.
"Bringing PopCap to the EA family represents a leap forward in our digital transformation," he said.
"PopCap has been an attractive target for us for years," he continued, claiming that the Popcap is "certainly the best content creator of casual in this space."
This, in addition to EA's own aggressive moves both in the Facebook and Digital Distribution space, appears to be part of a grand scheme to become the most relevant publisher as gaming moves in multiple different directions. With Origin, their number one position in mobile gaming, and now their attempts to corner the social gaming space, EA appear to be one of the most forward looking publishers in the games industry today.
We spoke to David DeMartini, Senior Vice President of Global Online for EA about these very topics a couple of weeks back. It appears that EA is attempting to own all aspects of the digital space.
“Origin is the centrepiece of what we’re trying to do in the online space,” begins David. “When you think of the pieces that John Riccitiello has, I think, very astutely put in place – we’re the leader in the mobile space, we’re number two in the social space, we’ve partnered with great services – this hasn’t happened by accident!
“There is an overarching strategy. And Origin is one of the cornerstones of that strategy.”
Popcap may end up being another cornerstone of EA's overarching strategy.