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PopCap Goes International

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the puzzles-go-wide dept.

Puzzle Games (Games) 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 www.popcap.com are expected in the first half the year. "

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Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (2, Insightful)

ian_mackereth (889101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633018)

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?

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (5, Funny)

turrican (55223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633061)

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

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (2, Funny)

jbrader (697703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633082)

That'd make me move to Ireland.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633224)

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

Cheap Irish labor? Are you kidding? they have one of the most skilled and well paid work forces in the world when it comes to IT. Try to research the subject before you spout garbage man.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633659)

Cheap Irish labor? Are you kidding? they have one of the most skilled and well paid work forces in the world when it comes to IT. Try to research the subject before you spout garbage man.

And stonking government subsidies / tax-breaks for the IT sector. So it, like, works out cheap.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633702)

Then maybe you should have referred to their favorable tax regime rather than "cheap Irish labor".

Please think before you post.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (3, Interesting)

Lerc (71477) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (http://www.screamingduck.com/Fitznik.php [screamingduck.com] ) 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 ( http://www.screamingduck.com/Drippy.php [screamingduck.com] ) 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.

Drippy == Pnickies? (1)

Not Invented Here (30411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633891)

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 [klov.com] ?

Re:Drippy == Pnickies? (3, Interesting)

Lerc (71477) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 :-)

Re:Drippy == Pnickies? (1)

Not Invented Here (30411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14635054)

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.

Re:Drippy == Pnickies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14637600)

Pnickies never took off because it was Japan only and there wasn't a Player vs. Computer mode.
If it did make it'd have taken over. The Vs. mode is brutal and higly competative. Big combos/blobs make a world of difference in Vs. Mode.

I played it religiously in MAME with coworkers on my Hanaho HotRod. It was a dying start up, so we had loads of time.

Re:Drippy == Pnickies? (1)

Lerc (71477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14634192)

Actually, reflecting on it a bit more, you could say that Drippy is a crossbreed of Pnickies and Klax

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

Bradee-oh! (459922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14635048)

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.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

Syrra (910699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633647)

"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.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

ruffles (951064) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633727)

But perhaps, finally, Bookworm will accept 'colour' as a valid word...

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

kleptonin (901871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14634068)

And 'FUCK'!

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633926)

Cheap Irish Labour?

Probably tax breaks from our government (i'm irish) is more likely.

We have a highly skilled IT workers (google and microsoft have Dublin HQ's for example, i think yahoo! too) and many native speakers of other european languages living here. Its not cheap labour, we are not a crapy third world country like india buddy.

Ignorant yank (probably)

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14634972)

Amazon is adding a Dublin data center to process EU orders. This will allow them to get favorable tax treatment from the EU.

There are a number of reasons to locate an EU data center in Ireland:

1. Skills.
2. Labor in Ireland, even in IT, is cheaper than elsewhere in the EU. If you are seeing higher averages, I suspect that it goes back to #1.
3. I wouldn't be surprised at finding favorable tax treatment from Ireland as well.

Cheap labor in Ireland may be like cheap labor in Seattle, WA, USA. It's all relative. Seattle is cheaper than Silicon Valley, so a US$110,000 programmer at Amazon becomes a US$130,000 programmer at Google.

Because no one in their right mind would locate a data center in Germany, it seems like they pay their IT less than they do. However, this is because they have inferior IT. Not because they don't have higher pay scales.

Re:Isn't the Interweb everywhere already? (1)

Tedium Unleased (764661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641729)

Yeah but Popcap is one of the few dicks, like apple, that slashdot keeps sucking.

Good for them. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633027)

Good for them! At least, here's a *GOOD* company.

Re:Good for them. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633107)

No such thing.

Re:Good for them. (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633675)

What about the one that built your Mom's basement?

what happened to PopTop (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14633528)

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.

Re:what happened to PopTop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14633686)

PopCap may steal game ideas left and right, but your big beef is that they "ripped off PopTop's name"?

Here is to hoping PopTop come up with something as good as Railrood Tycoon 2 again.

Nope! They stole PopTop's head guy, Phil Steinmeyer, in December of last year.

Re:what happened to PopTop (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14634402)

PopTop is probably busy with Shattered Union [poptop.com] .. .. 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.. :(

Not the only things they ripped off (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14634526)

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 know the Americans and their mentality. We will be up against American jurors. You know how biased they are towards Oriental companies. Popcap games' lawyer replied my mail and the one from my lawywers' office. In essence, they don't give a shit. I think they knew what they were doing from the start and they are bad businessmen. You know that to think of a game and to actually make it takes a lot of energy and money. Ripping off someonelse's idea is bad; they don't belong in the game business. In a few months, you will see what I am doing. I am not a lawyer so we will do battle in a different court. Did you know that Popcap also has a ripoff of Puzzle Bubble?

CHZ: (Not to mention Magical Drop - and presumably the 'different court' is the release of Shokan Puzz Loop for DS.) Source [insertcredit.com]

Congrats. (1)

misfit13b (572861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14635126)

Now bring Bookworm to the 360 Live Arcade so my wife has something to play again.

That's cool and all, but (1)

heresyoftruth (705115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14635848)

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.
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