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Surprising move: PopCap raises $22.5 million

By on October 8, 2009

PopCap has raised $22.5 million, the first time it has taken outside investment.

The investment in the makers of casual games like Bejewelled was led by Meritech Capital Partners.

Typically, investors put money into businesses which have proven that they know how to make money and just need to scale.

To my mind, PopCap used to know how to make money (get users to download an hour-long trial and persuade a small percentage of those to pay $19.99 to play on), but is still unproven in the new world of social games. It lags companies like Zynga and Playfish on Facebook and companies like Bigpoint or GameForge on the web.

Bejewelled Blitz screenshot

They’ve made great headway with Bejewelled Blitz but still have to prove that a company whose DNA is in product-based games can shift to a service model.

But at least they’ve got $22.5 million to spend while they work out their new business model.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: