PopCap IPO: 4 reasons to invest in the social gaming giant

Now that PopCap Games, Inc. has confirmed rumors that it’s planning an IPO, here are four reasons to consider buying stock in the social gaming company.

PopCap IPO Date: Tentatively slated as early as November.

Most popular PopCap games: Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, Zuma, Bejeweled, Bookworm

Total number of PopCap game downloads since 2000: 1.5 billion+

Now that PopCap Games, Inc. has confirmed rumors that the company is planning an IPO (which could come as early as November), investors are taking a more serious look at the 11-year-old company. Here are four reasons to consider buying stock in PopCap:

1) “477 million.” That’s the total number of internet users in China, and PopCap announced this week that it has forged a partnership with the so-called “Facebook of China,” Renren, Inc. (NYSE:RENN), to start tapping that market with the launch of Plants Vs. Zombies behind the Great Firewall.

2) The race to Wall Street. While it’s unclear when PopCap rival Zynga Game Network, Inc. – the creator of Farmville and several other runaway successes on Facebook and smartphones – might IPO, the spoils could favor the company that takes the plunge first. Lest we forget, Rovio (the maker of Angry Birds) has been floating talk of an IPO, too (check out my post Rovio stock suddenly becomes hot commodity for more). PopCap has set its sights on November, and we’re yet to hear any dates out of Zynga or Rovio.

3) Turning Japanese. PopCap’s turned its gaze not just on China but Japan as well. On Thursday (the same day Plants Vs. Zombies debuted in China), PopCap released gaming platform PopTower on Japan’s most popular social networking platform, GREE. The PopTower platform will eventually allow GREE users (all 25 million of them) access to several of PopCap’s most popular games including Bejeweled, Chuzzle and Zuma. The games will be enhanced with social features provided by famous Japanese gamemaker TAITO Corporation.

4) Coming to an Android near you. PopCap’s finally taking Chuzzle and Plants Vs Zombies into the Android Market. … Actually, they’ve inked a deal (with undisclosed terms) to offer the games exclusively on Amazon’s Appstore for two weeks before pushing the games out on Google’s official Android Market. Not only will the “exclusive” launch give PopCap’s games more visibility, it’s presumably bolstering their bottom line, too, thanks to a large check from Amazon. The fact that Android’s the most ubiquitous smartphone platform on the planet will take care of the rest.

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