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May 21, 2008 3:34 PM

WildTangent hooks up with PopCap in gaming ad deal

Posted by Brier Dudley

Redmond casual gaming godfather Alex St. John made a big move to expand his territory today.

His WildTangent game network is taking over ad sales for Seattle's PopCap Games, the country's biggest casual game developer.

WildTangent was already growing like crazy, reaching 26.5 million unique online visitors per month. The addition of 5 million more visitors from PopCap could make it the fourth largest online game network, up from its current fifth place behind Spill Group, according to comScore rankings.

St. John said the exclusive deal expands on a good relationship between the companies. WildTangent has been selling PopCap games and it needed more space to serve its advertisers.

"We didn't have enough inventory to carry all the deals we wanted,'' St. John said.

In the release, PopCap co-founder John Vechey said the deal lets PopCap "keep our focus on developing great games while still reaping the benefits of the enormous amount of ad dollars marketers are spending in online games."

The release included some eye-popping stats about PopCap's hit franchise, "Bejeweled," Since it was introduced in 2001, the puzzle game has been downloaded 250 million times by women alone and consumed an estimated 6 billion hours of leisure time.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.