NEWS - Thursday, February 8, 2007

Canessa Quits Microsoft For PopCap

Canessa has been instrumental in the success of Xbox Live Arcade. His new job title at PopCap is VP of video game platforms. He says, “My primary role at PopCap will be to manage their video game platforms business. It's a broad scope role which includes vision, strategy, execution, marketing, and other roles.” He said that one of his roles will be to explore new platforms. “What PopCap has always done super-well is make awesome broad appeal games. These games have done extremely well on the PC as downloads and recently on retail shelves, and PopCap has just scratched the surface of what's possible on platforms like Xbox Live Arcade, on iPod, etc.” {moscallout} "I think we are looking at what could be the next Blizzard or EA in the game industry with PopCap, and I want to be a part of that.”{/mosimage} He added that his experience with Microsoft has left him with a conviction that the games market has mass appeal. “One of the things that Xbox Live Arcade has taught me is how huge the market is for broad appeal games on videogame consoles, particularly amongst core gamers. If you broaden that out to include handhelds like Nintendo DS, the market is massive -- just look at the top selling games on that platform, and most of them could be classified as broad appeal titles. And the market is growing as more people buy these devices, gaming becomes more accepted culturally, and more people play games on the various devices they carry with them every day.” He added, “My group will take PopCap's games and franchises and customize them for various consoles, handhelds and devices. Having just witnessed the success of the Xbox Live Arcade business, I am more convinced than ever that there is a huge financial and strategic opportunity here for a company with amazing IP and games like PopCap to become leading content providers on these platforms. That's what I'm going to help them grow and define.” Next-Gen asked Canessa wy he is leaving Microsoft at a time when XBLA is rifing so high. He said, “Xbox Live Arcade has been an amazing ride, and is now a permanent, lasting success in the video game marketplace. There is a tremendous amount of upside with the business model, and developers are now beginning to hit their stride from a creative and production standpoint. “That being said, XBLA is now established and the business is out of its infancy. While I love Microsoft and Xbox 360, I'm an entrepreneur at heart and I love creating and defining new businesses. I'm also a huge gamer, and getting back into the game development space is important to me. And finally, I miss the nimbleness and agility that a small company can offer. “This is what attracted me to PopCap. Of all the companies out there, PopCap gets it like no other when it comes to making awesome, broad appeal games…Honestly, I think we are looking at what could be the next Blizzard or EA in the game industry with PopCap, and I want to be a part of that.”


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