PopCap Games

PopCap Games

PopCap Games is a leading casual gaming developer and publisher, based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It was founded in 2000 by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka, and currently employs more than 180 people. Most of Popcap's games can be played free in a limited form, with the full version available for a fee.

PopCap’s games have been downloaded more than 1 billion times, and its flagship title Bejeweled has sold more than 10 million units across all major platforms. PopCap games are available for Web, PC and Mac, Xbox, Xbox 360, cell-phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices. PopCap also runs a developer program to provide an opportunity for independent game developers to create and spread their games.


2000-July 2007: Original hit games era

PopCap Games was founded by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka in 2000. They wanted to create games, firstly by learning from other Internet gaming sites. Their first game was Bejeweled, a huge-hit gem-swapping game, which was supported on all major platforms and awarded by Computer Gaming World Hall Of Fame in 2002.

The company expanded in 2005 with the acquisition of Sprout Games, a Seattle-based casual games developer company like PopCap Games, founded by James Gwertzman. Sprout Games is the creator of the game Feeding Frenzy. The Sprout team subsequently moved to Seattle and helped PopCap to make a sequel to the hit game, Feeding Frenzy 2, with Gwertzman becoming the Director of Business Development at Popcap.

On August 22 2006, it was announced on Valve software's Web site that PopCap Games had entered into an agreement with Valve software to deliver PopCap's games via Valve's Steam content delivery system. Beginning on August 30 2006, 17 of PopCap's products became available via Steam. In keeping with PopCap tradition, each PopCap game offered via Steam is available for a free trial period as well as for purchase.

July 2007-present: Casual games distribution era

PopCap began another round of expansion in July 2007 by buying other casual game developers including the creators of an online consumer portal, SpinTop Games. Just a week beforehand the company acquired the Chicago-based development house Retro64, founded by Mike Boeh, which is best known for their retro-arcade action and puzzle titles.

After these acquisitions, the PopCap Games Logo was rebranded, dropping the "Games" portion. PopCap's premium games list in website will now be mixed with other games from other developers/distributors.


PopCap Games are best described as simple, but addictive; game tutorials often take up a single screen with usually just two to three rules displayed. Many games display additional rules as the player progresses in the game, such as information about bonus items. The games each feature unique design and story/concept.

Most games run both with or without hardware acceleration, are usually controllable with the mouse, and often feature various game modes based on the same concept (although in many cases, this is just the introduction of a time limit).


According to the official company website, PopCap Games has won at least 25 industry awards, including Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame status for Bejeweled.


Games generally use tracker music as soundtracks, often written by Future Crew members Jonne Valtonen and Peter Hajba. Two exceptions are Talismania, which featured an ethnically Greek soundtrack with a modern twist, and Peggle, which featured an easy listening soundtrack (as well as a choral passage of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony), both by Somatone Productions.


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External links

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