Seattle-based developer PopCap Games is to expand its business into South Korea following the announcement of a partnership with local publisher NCsoft. The two groups plan to launch PopCap World, an online game portal that will initially offer a suite of 13 PopCap games under a free-to-play model.
The portal, which is set to launch later this year and has a set of video trailers
available, will include popular titles Bejeweled
and Plants vs. Zombies
, as well as a new title, Super Zuma
, a game that the company has built "exclusively for Korean players."
PopCap World will be the first product to emerge from the group's Shanghai-based studio, operated by NCsoft and which opened in 2008
under the direction of James Gwertzman, vice president of Asia/Pacific .
Gwertzman compared the PopCap World service to Disneyland, saying: "When Disneyland first opened, it revolutionized the amusement park industry and ushered in the era of the modern theme park. In the same way, we believe PopCap World has the potential to redefine casual games in Korea and beyond by offering players the most immersive PopCap experience yet."
"Our announcement today is just the beginning," he continued. "We are very excited about our partnership with NCsoft – their formidable presence in the online market combined with PopCap’s leadership in the casual and social spaces makes for an interesting recipe that we look forward to serving up to players in Korea – and beyond.”