Plants vs Zombies MMO? Or Perhaps World of Pegglecraft?
PopCap Games announced a deal with NCsoft to bring PopCap’s first online multiplayer social game service to Korea later this year. Sadly this will not mean that we’re likely to see games such as “Plants vs Zombies MMO” or “World of Pegglecraft” just yet. PopCap and NCSoft are starting with a collaboration named “PopCap World”.
The new platform, PopCap World, is the first product to be developed and released by PopCap’s Shanghai game studio and marks a major milestone for the company in terms of its global online and social strategies.
PopCap World, operated by NCsoft, will launch with 13 of PopCap’s award-winning games such as Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies and Zuma as well as an all-new multiplayer game, Super Zuma, built exclusively for Korean players. All of the games are free to play, with optional, premium paid elements to be added later.
James Gwertzman, PopCap’s Vice President for Asia/Pacific, said:
“When Disneyland first opened, it revolutionized the amusement park industry and ushered in the era of the modern theme park. In the same way, we believe PopCap World has the potential to redefine casual games in Korea and beyond by offering players the most immersive PopCap experience yet.”
“Our announcement today is just the beginning. We are very excited about our partnership with NCsoft – their formidable presence in the online market combined with PopCap’s leadership in the casual and social spaces makes for an interesting recipe that we look forward to serving up to players in Korea and beyond.”
PopCap – and flagship franchise, Bejeweled – is widely regarded as a founding father of the casual games industry. Over the past 10 years, the company has solidified its reputation as a games pioneer by innovating new games genres exemplified in games such as the BAFTA-nominated, Plants vs. Zombies. PopCap is one of the few game developers/publishers that has successfully adapted itself to an ever-increasing variety of new gaming platforms and technologies.
Most recently, the company has gained notoriety for its success in the mobile and social spaces: its first iPhone game, Bejeweled 2, has been in the top 20 apps since its July 2008 launch; while the company’s first social game, Bejeweled Blitz, launched in December 2008, is one of the top games on Facebook with over 4 million daily active users (DAU). As PopCap prepares to launch its second social game, Zuma Blitz, on Facebook later this month, there is palpable excitement surrounding projects on both sides of the world and how these might eventually inform each other.
Mr. Whang, NCsoft’s Vice President for Web Business Center, said:
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with PopCap Games on this new project. PopCap is famous not only for the high quality of their games, they are a very talented developer, but also for appealing to an extremely wide audience. We look forward to a successful launch, and to opening up this new world of fun to both our existing Korean users, as well as a whole new audience for whom this may well be their first online game.”
PopCap games have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times by players worldwide; its flagship title, Bejeweled, has sold more than 50 million units across all platforms. PopCap World will launch later in 2010 with all games localized in Korean.