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The Bejeweled In PopCap's Crown Sam's avatar
PopCap's Family Jewels
If it takes you 4.3 seconds to read this sentence, by the time you've finished someone has bought Bejeweled from PopCap Games, adding further to the 50 million units that the multi-platform provider has already distributed to casual and hardcore gamers across the globe. These sobering statistics have been released by the developers as part of the 10th birthday celebrations for Bejeweled, along with the announcement that the franchise is now one of the top ten best-selling of all time.

During the 10 month long celebration period, PopCap have announced that fans of the puzzler can expect to get their hands on new additions to the line-up, participate in the first-ever community-wide competition for Bejeweled Blitz and enter various competitions, including the dubiously titled "Show Your Bejeweled Love" contest. Just try not to get too excited, you wouldn't like Tetris when he's jealous.

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Sam's avatar

Now I'm not a huge puzzle game player, but when I saw this press release from PopCap, I had to stop and admire how much the franchise has achieved in the last decade. Ten years ago the turn of the millennium saw games such as Deus Ex and Counter Strike released, so we're not talking about an era when it was either Bejeweled or a stick and hoop for enjoyment. Taking such a simple concept and serving it up to a population larger than most European countries at a time when there were many more feature laden alternatives out there is definitely something to be proud of.

In that last decade, my Mum, Aunty and Gran have entered the world of gaming through one of PopCap's many accessible puzzle games and considering the appeal to that demographic, the potential is staggering. Whether or not you're a fan of PopCap's particular brand of colourful yet addictive puzzler, you have to appreciate the branches they're offering to people who wouldn't traditionally call themselves gamers.

Who knows, in ten years time we might be celebrating Bejeweled's 20th birthday with a number of units in the hundreds of millions. Well, unless we're all to busy playing Duke Nukem Forever and Half-Life: Episode 3 that is.