News broke today that Electronic Arts is acquiring the mobile game creator, PopCap, for $650M, and additional stock and performance bonus options that take the price up to $1.2B.
Wow. Big money for the mobile games, casual entertainment space. Bejeweled is one of PopCap's most popular assets, and with this acquisition it joins Angry Birds (from Chillingo) under EA's growing ownership.
Whether waiting at the doctor's office, or for your carpool buddy to join you on the ride home, or when attending a boring speaker at a conference, or waiting to pick the kids up at school, there's nothing casual about casual mobile games. They are ubiquitous and obviously fill a void. Space. Time. Easy escape. Whatever this void is, the value continues to increase.
What happened in days of old before handheld devices created a captive market for new casual games? I remember the very rare occasions I took an airplane trip as a kid, and buying word search and crossword puzzle books to pass the time. or MAD comics, and the Archie Digest. Same deal. Different time. Different media. And I would bet a whole lot less profit.
Find a void to fill.
Create a product that sticks.
And sell to the highest bidder. Then enjoy the ride until another innovation comes up to fill that space we humans need to constantly fill up with stuff like Bejeweled that exists to just give us a break.