Bejeweled creator PopCap buys ZipZapPlay, blitzes into social games

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The creator of your favorite bite-sized Facebook distractions, PopCap, has acquired San Francisco-based ZipZapPlay for an undisclosed amount. For those who were doubtful whether the Seattle-based casual games giant was serious about social, you can stop now. (Seriously, both Zuma Blitz and Bejeweled Blitz have weekly video webcasts for the players--it's serious.) ZipZapPlay is best known for Facebook cooking sim Baking Life, which draws in a vast majority of the company's 2.3 million monthly players, according to AppData.

In the acquisition, PopCap gains ZipZapPlay's development team, their studio in San Francisco and two Facebook games: Baking Life and Happy Habitat. Founders Curt Bererton, CEO, and Mathilde Pignol, CCO), will continue to direct game design and development at the studio, which will operate independently of PopCap and report to VP of Social Games Development Jon David. John Vechey, PopCap co-founder and VP of Corporate Strategy and Development, reveals PopCap's intention in the space in a press release.
The team at ZipZapPlay is one of the best in the social games space, and combined with our existing group in Seattle gives us the opportunity to dramatically expand our development resources. While the acquisition creates immediate cross-promotional and operations benefits, this is a strategic move with huge long-term potential; we believe ZipZapPlay can help us further evolve and expand the definition of social games.
With the help of ZipZapPlay's 17-member strong team, PopCap hopes to have four or five games available on Facebook by the end of the year. If anything, we'll see at least one social game come from the collaboration this year. While no details on any new games are available, we imagine they'll embody PopCap's emphasis on daily players rather than monthly players. Because as of right now, that's what's keeping this company in the ring with the likes of Zynga, Playfish and now Wooga. While we're optimistic of the whole ordeal, we won't be sold until we see Plant Vs. Zombies on Facebook, so get to it, guys! (But we'll settle for Peggle as well.)

[Image Credit: Develop]

Do you play either Baking Life or a PopCap game? How do you feel about PopCap taking over? Do you think this will increase the company's viability against Zynga? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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