Videogames Discover Daily Deals as PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies Sells for Half Off

The obvious similarity between Groupon and Zynga is that they are both racing to become the next darling on Wall Street.

Both have been exceedingly good at getting big fast, raising tons of cash and at creating a brand new industry. I’ve written about that before.

But it appears the daily deals space and games industry could have even more in common than I thought. PopCap, which turned down a $1 billion buyout offer from Zynga for a $750 million offer from Electronic Arts, started selling one of its most popular games today for half-off on Tippr, which competes against Groupon and others.

So far, 26 people have purchased PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies for $10, which represents a discount of 50 percent, so I’m pretty sure the deal isn’t a ploy by PopCap to juice its sales right before the deal with EA is finalized.

Over the past year, daily deals have quickly expanded from offering spa and restaurant discounts to just about every other category under the sun, including Amazon gift cards, movie tickets, travel deals, food, clothing, etc.

But a videogame download is still a rare find.

Together the pair makes sense for the right game. PopCap’s game titles are considered casual titles that appeal to the mainstream, much like games found on Facebook. Its PC titles, including Bejeweled, are frequently sold online or at major retailers, such as Wal-Mart. Daily deal providers, which have millions of subscribers, reach a similarly wide audience.

For example, it wouldn’t surprise me to see an offer for 50 percent off Facebook Credits in the not so distant future, or for specific games that are seeking new distribution.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik