Codex Gamicus
PopCap Games
Basic Information
Company Type
Seattle (2000[1])
Video games (Casual games)
See the list
Online/Offline Video games Developer/Publisher/Distributor
Key People
John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka

PopCap Games is an American video game developer and publisher, based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It was founded in 2000 by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka, and currently employs more than 200 people.[2] Most of Popcap's games can be played free in a limited form, with the full version available for a fee.

PopCap’s flagship title Bejeweled has sold more than 50 million units[3] across all major platforms. PopCap games are available for Web, PC and Mac, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Zeebo, Cell Phones, PDAs, iPod Classic, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad as well as other mobile devices and in June 2010, it was announced that they would be producing games for the Android operating system.[4] In 2009 they had another hit with the tongue-in-cheek Plants vs Zombies.


2000-July 2007: Original hit games era[]

PopCap Games was founded by John Vechey, Brian Fiete and Jason Kapalka in 2000. They wanted to create games, firstly by learning from other Internet gaming sites. Their first game was Bejeweled, a huge-hit gem-swapping game, which was supported on all major platforms and awarded by Computer Gaming World Hall Of Fame in 2002.

The company expanded in 2005 with the acquisition of Sprout Games, a Seattle-based casual games developer company like PopCap Games, founded by James Gwertzman. Sprout Games is the creator of the game Feeding Frenzy. The Sprout team subsequently moved to Seattle and helped PopCap to make a sequel to the hit game, Feeding Frenzy 2, with Gwertzman becoming the Director of Business Development at Popcap.

On August 22, 2006, it was announced on Valve Software's Web site that PopCap Games had entered into an agreement with Valve Software to deliver PopCap's games via Valve's Steam content delivery system. Beginning on August 30, 2006, 17 of PopCap's products became available via Steam. In keeping with PopCap tradition, each PopCap game offered via Steam is available for a free trial period as well as for purchase.[5]

July 2007-present: Casual games distribution era[]

PopCap began another round of expansion in July 2007 by buying other casual game developers including the creators of an online consumer portal, SpinTop Games.[6] Just a week beforehand the company acquired the Chicago-based development house Retro64, founded by Mike Boeh, which is best known for their retro-arcade action and puzzle titles.[7]

After these acquisitions, the PopCap Games Logo was rebranded, dropping the "Games" portion. PopCap's premium games list on their website will now be mixed with other games from other developers/distributors.


Main article: List of PopCap games

Most games run both with or without hardware acceleration, are usually controllable with the mouse, and often feature various game modes based on the same concept (although in many cases, this is just the introduction of a time limit).


According to the official company website, PopCap Games has won at least 25 industry awards, including Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame status for Bejeweled.

In 2010, PopCap Games was named in Lead411's Hottest Seattle Companies list.[8]


Games generally use tracker music as soundtracks, often written by Future Crew members Jonne Valtonen and Peter Hajba. Two exceptions are Talismania, which featured an ethnically Greek soundtrack with a modern twist, and Peggle, which featured an easy listening soundtrack (as well as a choral passage of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony), both by Somatone Productions.

PopCap Games Framework[]

PopCap Games Framework (official name was SexyApp Framework) is the name of a computer game development kit for C++, released by PopCap Games. It is designed to let programmers easily and quickly create "PopCap-style" games, and is part of their developer program that encourages game creators to distribute their finished games through PopCap Games. The PopCap Games Framework is licensed under a proprietary free license. The PopCap framework powers casual games such as PopCap's own Bejeweled and Sandlot Games' Cake Mania. The framework only officially runs on the Windows platform, although some games have been ported to the Mac using proprietary conversions of the framework. A community-supported effort is under way for porting the framework to Linux as well. One such effort is TuxCap [1], which additionally makes use of PyCap [2], wrapping the SexyApp API in a Python layer. A community forum for the PopCap framework [3] has helped developers and improved on the last official release of the framework.

PopCap have finished their developer program (as of 27 July 2009). Community efforts to modernise the framework have culminated in SexyKanji [4], which wraps the SexyApp API around the Gogii Games Engine (formerly the Kanji Engine), introducing support for new features and many different platforms, including the iPhone/iPad. However, the Gogii Games Engine is a commercial engine, so developers must pay to acquire a license to use it (unlike the original PopCap framework).


  1. PopCap Games - About Us
  2. Error on call to Template:Cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified. Retrieved on 2010-03-26
  3. Leigh Alexander (2010-02-10). "Bejeweled Sales Hit 50 Million". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  4. Mark Brown (2010-06-29). "PopCap confirms games on Android in 2010". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  5. PopCap Games Now Available Via Steam (2006-08-30).
  6. iTZKooPA (2007-07-16). "PopCap Games Buys Another". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  7. iTZKooPA (2007-07-12). "PopCap Games Captures Retro64". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  8. Lead411's Hottest Seattle Companies

External links[]