Some people view Electronic Arts as a place where promising development studios and game franchises go to wither and die. While that has certainly been the case a time or two, don't expect that to happen to PopGames if EA takes control. According to TechCrunch, EA is in "late stage acquisition discussions" with PopCap to acquire the casual game maker for a cool $1 billion, a hefty investment that points to a much bigger purpose than wanting to remove the competition.
In all reality, EA doesn't present much competition for any company entrenched in the mobile and/or casual games market. That isn't to say EA doesn't have a mobile gaming presence, but it's a comparatively weak one at best. PopCap, on the other hand, is rolling in the dough with games like Bejeweled, Bookworm, Peggle, and Plants vs Zombies.
Keeping in mind that this is all speculation at this point, the question here is whether EA is off its rocker to consider forking over $1 billion for PopCap, or if the price is exactly right to fast-track the company into mobile and casual games. At the rumored price, EA would be paying what amounts to more than 13 percent of its market cap, which currently sits at $7.49 billion.
Regardless of whether it's a wise move or not, one thing we know for sure is that EA isn't afraid to pull the trigger on big dollar deals. As ZDNet points out, EA spent $680 million acquiring JAMDAT Mobile in 2006, and another $400 million scooping up PopCap rival Playfish back in 2009.