Develop 2010: Publishers declined to own one of the most popular games of all time

PopCap couldnâ??t sell Bejeweled for $60k

Bejeweled has in the space of ten years become one of the most popular games of all time, but pessimistic publishers previously turned down offers to buy the title even at a bargain-bin price.

Gasual Gaming kingpin PopCap has sold over 50 million copies of Bejeweled since it launched in 2000. The game still today enjoys some 10 million monthly active users, and 200 million games played each day.

But when the first build of the game was finished, some ten years ago, unnamed publishers didn’t take the offer to snap up the game for $60,000.

The extraordinary revelation comes at the fifth annual Develop Conference, through an enlightening speaker session which focused on the evolution of Bejeweled during the social gaming revolution.

Speaking for PopCap was Dave Bishop, an industry veteran now working at casual gaming giant – who himself was surprised to discover Bejeweled didn’t sell at such a low price ten years ago.

It wasn’t the first time today that publishers have been called out on their hyper-pessimism.

In a separate session, Joe Danger studio Hello Games listed responses it heard from publishers when pitching the popular PSN title. One publisher said that “collecting giant coins feels unrealistic”, while another asked if monkeys could be in the game.

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