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Puzzle Games (Games) Businesses

PopCap Goes International 28

Gamasutra reports on PopCap Games' expansion to international markets. From the article: "Based in Dublin, Ireland, the new operations center will serve as a local hub for PopCap's European and Asian business activities, as well as studio facilities for international games and new title development. According the company, the studio has initially launched with around 12 employees. Newly-localized PopCap games for some European markets will be launched this quarter, and international versions of are expected in the first half the year. "
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PopCap Goes International

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  • I really haven't noticed the Yank flavour of Bejewelled online, or any Englishness in my Palm version from Astraware.

    Apart from getting some cheap Irish labour, what's the big deal with having a Dublin office?

    • by turrican ( 55223 ) on Friday February 03, 2006 @02:36AM (#14633061)
      Apart from getting some cheap Irish labour, what's the big deal with having a Dublin office? ...Fresh Guinness?
    • by Lerc ( 71477 ) on Friday February 03, 2006 @04:24AM (#14633351)
      Actually it is a bit of an issue making games for different countries. I'm in New Zealand and I get interesting feedback regarding my games from the US. It's usually little things that you have to change to consider.

      For instance in my game Fitznik ( []) it was a tough decisiion on one of the death messages. When you blow yourself up with one of you own bombs, you may get the message "Go Darwin!" This may not go down too well in some parts of the states.

      In the end I decided that given the game is a puzzle game with actual difficult puzzles, those who would be inclined to be offended wouldn't be up to playing the game anyway.

      Another issue is promotion. Different games do well in different areas.
      By and large the american audience seems to hate Drippy ( [] ) but people in other parts of the world seem to think it's quite neat.

      It would work out better to promote games, more targeted for the region.

      And finally. The interweb is everywhere, that means you deal with people at all hours. Having an office on the other side of the world can be handy if you need to have stuff done while you are asleep.

      • Your description for Drippy describes it as "Not just an old game with a different name and better graphics and enough little changes to evade copyright, but a whole new game concept." So why does the mechanic of merging blobs to get two stars remind me so much of Pnickies []?
        • by Lerc ( 71477 ) on Friday February 03, 2006 @09:06AM (#14634038)
          There are two reasons for that text.

          Firstly, The gameplay is still rather different to Pnikies. The blobs and stars are the common elements. The controls are totally different.

          Secondly, I paid someone to write the text on my site and she hsa never seen Pnickies. As for myself, I got the idea for Drippy from Pnickies, but I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the game.

          The main difference between the two are the way things fall. In Drippy mutliple things fall simultaneoulsy and you can only manipulate them at the top, It's also better to play using a mouse. In Pnickies I believe you control set pieces one at a time as they fall. Chances are if you like one you'll probably like the other though.

          It's an interesting way to develop a game, working from the faded memory of another title. You take new directions in the areas where your memory fails you. I did this once before with a game that I based on the Apple II game serpentine. I only saw the apple game once and I wrote my thing in 1993 or 4 so While I achieved a degree of visual similarity the gameplay was quite different. In more recent years I downloaded a version of serpentine for and emulator and found that I didn't much like the original anyway, go figure :-)

          • OK, that's certainly a lot more original than most puzzle games. Pnickies never made much of an impact, possibly because the market was saturated with puzzle games, or possibly because it has an unsatisfying difficulty curve. Getting large combos at the beginning of the game doesn't seem to have much influence on your overall performance and score.

        • Actually, reflecting on it a bit more, you could say that Drippy is a crossbreed of Pnickies and Klax
      • I just downloaded and installed the Drippy demo on WinXP and when I try to run the game it immediately crashes everytime.
        I'm American
        You're right, I hate Drippy.
    • "primary European languages targeted for rollouts in the first half of 2006 include French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. Asian localizations into Chinese, Korean and Japanese will also be available this year." - is probably what the submitter of the article meant, although I can see why a release in another country might need some tweaking, they've done it for years in American releases originally from Japan, like changing around the controller button configuration, for instance.
    • But perhaps, finally, Bookworm will accept 'colour' as a valid word...
    • Yeah but Popcap is one of the few dicks, like apple, that slashdot keeps sucking.
  • Good for them! At least, here's a *GOOD* company.
  • It is kind of sad that these guys are becoming bigger and more well known than the much better game company they ripped off their name from -- PopTop.

    Here is to hoping PopTop come up with something as good as Railrood Tycoon 2 again.
    • PopTop is probably busy with Shattered Union [].. .. besides.. I much favored Tropico then RRT2.. RRT3 is pretty nifty, but the only thing interesting about Tropico 2 was the pirate theme.. the actual gameplay was kinda blah (it was developed by a different company....)

      TBH, I don't play enough of the micro-games or whatever they are to be called.. (ok.. i do end up on Newgrounds on occasion.. but that's about it.. ).. when I first read this title, I thought it was about PopTop.. :(
    • by Anonymous Coward
      CHZ: I remember that in 2004 you intended to file a lawsuit against Popcap for IP infringement with their game Zuma, a clone of Puzz Loop which can be played on PC and Xbox 360 (via the "Live Arcade" service). I haven't heard anything about this story since then. Was any solution or arrangement reached?

      [image alt:puzzloop zuma]
      [image alt:Puzzloop versus Zuma]

      OZA: My lawyers in Japan are supposed to be on this. Progress is slow because if we do court battle in US, we would be at a disadvantage. You kno

  • Now bring Bookworm to the 360 Live Arcade so my wife has something to play again.
  • The only thing I miss about switching over to a mac, is Insaniquarium. I have even emailed them asking if they plan to put it on the mac, but they said "If there was enough interest." At least Bookworm, and Zuma are mac friendly now.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.