PopCap Games, Previously Talking Plenty About an IPO, Now Subject of $1B Buyout Report

6/22/11Follow @curtwoodward

Seattle’s PopCap Games, which makes well-known casual game titles like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies, has been making lots of noise about its plans to possibly seek an IPO later this year. Of course, one result of a lot of IPO talk is sometimes an acquisition, and that may also be in the cards. This afternoon, TechCrunch has a report citing “multiple” anonymous sources that say PopCap is being acquired by an unnamed buyer for more than $1 billion.

In its recent New York we-might-IPO blitz, the company said it made about $100 million in revenue last year, which represented growth from about $80 million in 2009 and $50 million in 2008. It also said digital sales account for about 80 percent of the company’s business, with the balance from retail stores.

A huge factor affecting the market for casual and social gaming companies is Zynga, the maker of Facebook games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille. PopCap CEO David Roberts has previously said that it would be attractive to hit the public markets before Zynga, but that was back in April—and Zynga has been the subject of its own juicy rumors recently, in this case a supposedly imminent IPO.

PopCap spokesman Eric Walter declined to comment on the report, citing company policy to avoid weighing in on “rumors and speculation of this nature.”

The company, which has offices worldwide, raised $22.5 million in 2009 in its first-ever financing round, led by Meritech Capital Partners with angels Larry Bowman and John McCaw. In late April, PopCap did some acquiring of its own, snapping up San Francisco’s ZipZapPlay for an undisclosed price

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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