Dear English users from abroad! This is the Interview with James Gwertzman, Director of Business Development of Popcap.

Korean version of this Interview.

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1. We could call [Bejeweled] as 'Tetris of 21th. Century', due to High success & fame. But nobody might expect it in Production period.

When we first built Bejeweled, we had no idea how successful it would become. Back then, we thought our primary business would be licensing games to websites ? not building downloadable games. In fact, we almost sold the entire game to another company for only $50,000 which at the time we thought would be a good deal! Luckily that deal didn’t work out, because Bejeweled has gone on to become very popular. Bejeweled started the same way all our games start ? as a very simple, very fun game mechanic that we prototyped quickly. Then we added everything else around it and came up with the idea of using jewels.


2. 'Casual Game in Download Market' became very big at now. People could analysis about that, the reason why, in some different ways. What about thoughts & view of Popcap?

We believe that everyone likes playing games ? they just don’t necessarily know it yet! Casual games are so popular because they appeal to everyone and they are so simple to learn and play. Many other games are too complicated to appeal to everyone. Because many of our customers don’t think of themselves as gamers, or don’t know they like playing games, they would never go to a store to buy a game. So really the casual game market had to wait until the internet came along to get started. And it’s been growing every year since!


3. As I see in Popcap homepage here, http://popcap.com/aboutus.php, I could see your basic moto is 'easy to learn, tough to master'. Does it infleunce of your company name 'Popcap', to show people what game this company is making? If not, could you please let me know how come to make that name?

I wish we had some insightful story about our name, but we don’t. Maybe we should make one up! Actually we just knew that we wanted the word “Pop” in our name, to symbolize games that would be popular and made for everyone. We went through all words we could find that started with “Pop” and discovered “PopCap” and the name stuck! A Pop Cap is actually the top to a bottle of soda, and early on our logo looked like a bottle top.


4. Could you please let us know what you think about Korean gaming market?

We think the Korean game market is extremely exciting. In many ways, Korea is several years in the future compare to the US and other markets when it comes to building online games, so we watch what is happening in Korea with great interest. The online market in Korea is also known as a very hard-core gaming market, however. With the exception of a few games like Kart Rider, most popular games in korea are very competitive and aimed at hardcore audiences. It will be interesting to watch how the Korean market grows in the future. For example, here in the US many of our customers are older women. When I talk with companies in Korea about this they are always very surprised ? in korea, housewives are apparently not yet a big gaming audience. Will they be a big audience in the future? Perhaps.


5. Until now, Korean people know about [Bejeweled] well, but not all Popcap games. Please pick 5 best Popcap games, and add brief reason why or basic information.

Bejeweled is certainly our most famous game, but we have a number of other very famous games. I’d encourage you to check out our game Zuma which is my personal favorite ? it’s also a match-3 game, but it’s got a great theme and is more challenging. Bookworm is a word game, but has a very passionate number of fans. We just launched a sequel to that game called Bookworm Adventures which we were working on for nearly 3 years and I believe it may be the most expensive casual game ever made. Heavy Weapon is an action game that was never very popular online, but we have a version coming to the Xbox soon and we expect that to be extremely popular. And finally the games Feeding Frenzy and Feeding Frenzy 2 are extremely popular, and I personally worked on both those games so I’m especially proud of them.


6. Please leave some message for Korean readers of Pig-Min.

You are all very luck to live in a country with such fast internet connections! It means that you are on the cutting edge of defining new games and ways to play games, which is very exciting. We look forward to bringing our PopCap games to your market in the future to provide great game experiences!

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James Gwertzman
Director of Business Development
PopCap Games, Inc.


Korean version of this Interview.
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