Casual game publisher and developer PopCap Games (Bejeweled, Zuma
) has officially announced its expansion into overseas markets with the opening of PopCap Games International. 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 www.popcap.com are expected in the first half the year.
Heading PopCap Games International is game industry veteran Will Golby, who most recently headed up TKO Software Ltd. when they opened Dublin offices in early 2004. According to the company, the first games to be made available to overseas audiences are Bejeweled 2, Chuzzle, Insaniquarium
; 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.
“We’re pleased and excited to open our international headquarters in Dublin, which is actively growing its digital media presence through initiatives such as the Digital Hub and has historically been the preferred European center of localization for the software industry,” said David Roberts, CEO of PopCap Games. “If we want to provide the same premium game experience around the world that our US customers have grown to expect, it’s critical that we have PopCap staff as close to the customer as possible. Global expansion is our top priority in 2006, and this is a big first step toward that goal.”