Years ago, PopCap Games tried to sell the rights to their fledgling little title, Bejeweled, for $60,000.
They got no takers.
Today, they announed that more than 25 million copies of Bejeweled has been sold worldwide.
“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 … 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.”
Thus, the casual gaming revolution began.
And that 25 million is just paid purchases. PopCap says that 350 million copies of Bejeweled/Bejeweled 2 have been downloaded off their website and downloaded to mobile phones. They’ve earned $300 million on the title plus millions more off online advertising around the game.
The Bejeweled franchise has been available for Web, PCs and Macs, mobile phones, Xbox and PlayStation consoles, PDAs and Blackberrys, iPods and iPhone, in-flight airline systems, on-demand TV systems in hotels and 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,” PopCap said Tuesday.
Not bad for something that’s “not even a game.”