Bejeweled Sold 25m Times

August 20th, 2008 by Arjan Olsder Posted in Marketing Strategies | No Comments »

Bejeweled has been on the market for a long time. The game even got me through my student years when I had it on my good old Palm m515. Now the game managed to sell 25 million times.

"Considering we tried to sell Bejeweled outright to more than one industry giant back in the early days of our company, and got no takers even after reducing our asking price to $60,000, this little game has done all right for itself," said Jason Kapalka, chief creative officer and co-founder of PopCap, and the original designer of Bejeweled and its sequel. "I vividly recall prospective buyers telling us ‘It’s not even a game,’ while showing us the door," Kapalka laughed.

While the casual games "audience" is estimated at between 350 million and 450 million, this estimate is based on "regular" players, consumers who enjoy casual games on a monthly or more frequent basis; hundreds of millions of additional consumers have experienced a casual game, most often Bejeweled, at least once in their lives. More than 350 million copies of the Bejeweled/Bejeweled 2 have been downloaded from the Web, accounting for nearly a third of the 1 billion-plus downloads of all PopCap(R) titles. Tens of millions of copies of Bejeweled have been installed on mobile phones worldwide, and more than 25 million units of the game have been sold across all platforms, amounting to over $300 million in consumer spending over the history of the game. (Additionally, Bejeweled has garnered tens of millions of dollars in online advertising.)

For the past three years and counting, Bejeweled has consistently been among the top three "family entertainment" software titles sold at retail, while most hit video games achieve such ranking for one or two months. Likewise, the game has been one of the top three sellers among mobile games for more than three years running. Among PopCap’s own customer base, exposure to Bejeweled is exceptionally high: a survey of 13,000 PopCap customers conducted in April 2008 found that fully 95% of them had played Bejeweled in some form.

The Bejeweled franchise is also one of the most ubiquitous and accessible in the history of video games, with versions of the game available for Web, PCs and Macs, mobile phones, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, PDAs and Blackberrys, iPods and iPhone, in-flight on leading airlines, on-demand TV systems in hotels — even scratch-off lottery tickets in many states. All told, Bejeweled and Bejeweled 2 have collectively been enjoyed for an estimated 6 billion hours — the equivalent of 60 people playing the game 24 hours a day since the last Ice Age 11,400 years ago.

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    Arjan Olsder is the Vice President of Pixalon Studios. Opinions expressed on this publication do not have to represent those of Pixalon Studios.


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