EA looks to become $1bn digital business

The realisation last night of EA’s much-rumoured buyout of PopCap has positioned the publisher as one of the powerhouses of digital gaming, according to EA boss John Riccitiello.

The outspoken exec told investors last night that the move is EA’s first step toward becoming a $1bn a year digital gaming business.

"Bringing PopCap to the EA family represents a leap forward in our digital transformation," Riccitiello said, as reported by Gamasutra. It will add to EA’s already strong growth in digital, help to expand our leadership to mobile, and establish EA as the clear number two on Facebook.

"We were spending a lot of cycles trying to figure out how to do new IP in the casual space and the net answer I came up with was they’ll actually relieve of us that challenge."

The result is that EA now commands something in the region of 10m actively users a day on Facebook, leaving it second only to Zynga and putting it far ahead of closest contender Wooga.

Riccitiello also revealed that he has been targeting the casual giant for some time now.

"PopCap has been an attractive target for us for years," Riccitiello added. It is certainly the best content creator of casual in this space.

"PopCap could continue to grow to its business, add to its business, and we’ve essentially created an environment where they get a lot more bang for their buck.

"In social and in mobile there are strong network effects. Just like a social network, one app points to another app. We literally double our footprint in a number of these platforms adding EA and PopCap together. That’s a direct and important revenue driver."

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