DID YOU READ

EA to acquire casual game giant PopCap in $750 million dollar deal

EA to acquire casual game giant PopCap in $750 million dollar deal  (photo)

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Electronic Arts has long been a leader in the video game industry, thanks to perennial best-sellers like its “Madden NFL” series and franchises that target the hardcore like “Dead Space” and “Battlefield.” But they’ve also been trying to dominate into the casual and social gaming sectors in a similar way, with much less success. They’ve been on a buying spree of late, snapping up smaller entities like social dev studio Playfish and indies like Firemint and Chillingo.

But, PopCap’s a truly big fish to reel in. Aside from the insanely rich valuation, the Seattle studio’s cranked out three of the most successful and ubiquitous casual games ever, in the forms of Bejeweled,” “Zuma Blitz” and “Plants vs. Zombies.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a mobile device that doesn’t have an iteration of “Bejeweled” or “PvZ” available for it and the web versions “Bejeweled” and “Zuma” have stolen away millions of hours away from people who could care less about a first-person shooter.

EA sees this as a part for their shift towards a digital strategy that anticipates direct downloads making up the majority of sales next year. To that end, they’ve also launched Origin, a download service like Valve’s Steam that will carry their games on a near-exclusive basis. So, the idea is to sell games normally packaged on discs online–in chinks most likely–and provide a bounty of natively digital content as well. PopCap’s track record in the latter category is amongst the best, with 150 million games sold on iOS, Facebook and Android. 50 million units of that was just “Bejeweled” alone.

But, the usual caveats apply as to the big-company-buys-small-company paradigm. PopCap’s a quirky, idea-driven company that’s never been under pressure to crank out work annually or service lowest-common-denominator expectations. Still, PopCap will get the benefit of EA’s distribution and marketing reach. Time will tell if this means that they’re just becoming zombies or if they’ll will blossom like a sunflower.

What do you think about this news? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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