Whispers about this started a little while ago, but it appears the rumors are true: EA is acquiring casual game developer PopCap Games for $650 million cash plus another $100 million in stock and incentives.
That's a huge deal, and surprisingly cheap, given that PopCap's value has been estimated as high as $1 billion. PopCap of course made its name on casual PC games like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, but in recent years those titles have become mobile juggernauts, and the iOS platform is currently the company's crown jewel.
EA also has been working hard on the mobile front (recently acquiring iOS developer Firemint, among a few other big deals), so combining PopCap's library and talent for casual gaming with EA's marketing and distribution arms should make the two a lot of money going forward.
PopCap's CEO says it plans to work with EA to "scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience." As for us, we're just hoping Plants vs. Zombies 2 is somewhere in those plans. Oh and Bejeweled 3 for iOS please. And more stuff from the 4th and Battery mini-studio, too. More of everything, really -- thanks!