Embargoed until Friday 22nd June @ 2pm
DUBLIN, Ireland– June 22, 2007— PopCap Games today launches Venice, a puzzle-solving, sharp-shooting, retro action game set among the canals of Renaissance Italy’s famed city. Developed by Retro64, Venice challenges players to help save the precious artifacts of ancient Italy while keeping their ship afloat past dozens of classical Venetian buildings.
“Venice is a different sort of game, melding numerous puzzle-solving elements with varying degrees of retro-arcade action depending on your preference,” noted Jason Kapalka, chief creative officer and co-founder of PopCap.“There’s truly something for everyone in Venice, and the game-play is flexible in giving different kinds of casual game fans different ways to play. The themed soundtrack and artwork create great settings in which to experience the sights and sounds of ancient Italy while navigating your way to victory.”
“We’re thrilled to have PopCap publishing Venice and helping with the fine-tuning of the game— it’s great to be working with the best in the business,” said Mike Boeh, lead developer of Venice at Retro64.“PopCap truly has a knack for making a game as good as it can possibly be, and that’s reflected in the final version of Venice.”
In Venice, players fire treasures from a golden gondola into appropriate slots attached to the walls and towers of the city as the buildings slowly sink. Successful shots remove barriers and allow progress upward as the canal waters rise and carry the ship up each building. Four modes of play— Journey, Flood, Survival and Trick Shots— take the game-play in different directions, offering something for every gamer’s taste. A free trial of the deluxe version is available for download at www.popcap.com as well as on other leading game portals.
PopCap Games ( www.popcap.com) is the leading multi-platform provider of“casual games”— fun, easy-to-learn, captivating computer games that appeal to everyone from age 6 to 106. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of over 120 people in Seattle, San Francisco, the Chicago area and Dublin . Its games have been downloaded more than 200 million times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled?, has sold more than 10 million units across all platforms. Constantly acclaimed by consumers and critics, PopCap? games are played on the Web, desktop computers, myriad mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, iPod and more), popular game consoles (such as Xbox), and in-flight entertainment systems. PopCap is the only casual games developer with leading market share across all major sales channels, including Web portals, retail stores, mobile operators and developers, and game device manufacturers.
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PopCap and Bejeweled are trademarks of PopCap Games, Inc. and may be registered in some countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners and are used for the benefit of those owners.
A free trial of the deluxe version is available for everyone at www.popcap.com.
What are Casual Games?
Played on a diversity of platforms such as Web, PC, Mac, mobile phone, PDA, Xbox Live Arcade and iPod, PopCap’s casual games are often defined by the casual– in comparison to core or hardcore– gamer that plays. And, while casual game players don’t even consider themselves to be“gaming” (does Solitaire on my desktop really count?), casual gamers are‘everyone’ - with a surprisingly large mass of older female players.
Who are PopCap Games?
Creators of classic casual game, Bejeweled, PopCap are well-known in the US and are finally getting noticed in Europe with three recent (Feb 2007) Zeeby awards (Oscars of the casual games industry) at the CGA Europe in Amsterdam. PopCap’s, Bookworm Adventures, won Best Word&Trivia Game (2006), Best Game Design (2006) and Best Story/Narrative (2006) while Jason Kapalka, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, PopCap Games received a special honour by becoming the first inductee to the Casual Games Hall of Fame, for his creation, Bejeweled, the first casual game to be inducted into the“Computer Gaming World Hall of Fame” (2004) since Tetris was 19 previously.
Who Plays Casual Games?
The largest ever survey of casual game players (August 2006) was conducted by PopCap Games. It showed:
- <*>76% of Players are Female - with an average age of 48*> <*>89% Are 30 or Older; 71% are 40 or older and 47% are 50 or older*>
? 88% of players overall indicated they experienced stress relief from playing casual games
? 74% of all respondents cited mental exercise as a benefit
Dr. Carl Arinoldo, a New York-based psychologist of 25 years and author on stress management advocates them as a source of both stress relief and cognitive exercise:
"Casual word and puzzle computer games, such as 'Bookworm' and 'Bejeweled' can actually develop new cellular brain connections thereby helping to keep the healthy brain active and vital. And by seriously attending to the word and puzzle games, people can control stress by cognitively 'blocking out' the negative stresses of the day and ultimately train themselves to do this more reflexively. Unlike traditional videogames that tend to over-stimulate while they engage our minds, casual games have a calming effect while still providing an acceptable level of distraction and entertainment."
Jason Kapalka adds:
“We’ve never set out to make a‘healthy’ game or a‘game for women’– we simply try to make high quality, broadly appealing, FUN games for everyone. We know from the many emails and letters we receive that some portion of our customers derives health benefits from the games, and that many view playing our games as a major source of fun in their lives, but these survey results are surprising even to us!”
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