Casual games developer and publisher PopCap says retail sales for its PC titles grew by 85.3 percent in 2008, and that it now counts as one of the top 20 biggest video game retail publishers in the U.S. by dollar volume -- a first for the company.
The studio notes that its achievements come as the PC game industry suffered more than a 14 percent decline in overall revenues from retail outlets over the previous year.
PopCap's sales experienced the most significant growth during the fourth quarter of the calendar year, due primarily to the release of Bejeweled Twist, the latest main entry to its flagship Bejeweled franchise. Analyst firm The NPD Group reported that the title was the 8th best-selling PC game at U.S. retailers in December 2008.
The company's other top sellers during the year include Bejeweled 2, Zuma, Amazing Adventures: The Lost Tomb, and Mystery P.I.: The Lottery Ticket. PopCap currently has 15 titles available at retail, compared to the 10 games it had on shelves in 2007.
According to the publisher, Bejeweled Twist is sold at over 20,000 stores across North America, including Wal-Mart and Target locations. Though its releases have been available in stores since 2004, PopCap says its presence at retail has "grown dramatically over the past 18 months by virtue of direct relationships with major retail chains in North America."
"Our family-friendly casual games appeal to the broadest consumer audience -- literally anyone over the age of five or six -- making our products extremely reliable sellers at retail," says PopCap's EVP of Global Business Development Dennis Ryan. "We're excited to move forward in the new year as we expand our retail lineup to include world-class console titles."