Popcap Games has announced that Bejeweled 3, the first “direct” sequel in the franchise since 2004 (Bejeweled Twist was not a direct sequel), will be forthcoming on December 7th via their website, retailers, and “other major portals” which likely include Steam.
The biggest change appears to be a Quest Mode, which will incorporate the standard Bejeweled gameplay with eleven different minigames spread out across forty stages. This is in addition to the classic, Zen (no-end) and timed (“Lightning”) modes. There will be 65 “badges” to earn, which work like achievements, and four secret games to unlock with names like “Butterflies” and “Ice Storm”.
There is no MSRP at this time, though every other Bejeweled game on the PC has released at $9.99.
The full press release, including assets, is below the cut.
DUBLIN, Ireland – November 1, 2010 “â€ PopCap Games, the worldwide leader in casual games, today announced the imminent launch of BejeweledÃ‚Â® 3, the first true sequel to its beloved flagship franchise in more than six years. Featuring a wealth of new content and triple the fun of previous installments in the series, Bejeweled 3 elevates the “match-3″Â category of puzzle games pioneered by PopCap a decade ago to an entirely new level. Bejeweled 3 will launch on December 7, 2010 via PopCap.com and other major portals in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific as well as at leading retail outlets throughout North America.
Beyond stunning, high-definition graphics and mellifluous music and sound effects, Bejeweled 3 is packed with completely new game experiences in addition to updated and expanded re-imaginings of the four original game modes from Bejeweled 2. Four all-new secret games including Ice Storm and Poker offer surprising new interpretations of the Bejeweled theme, while Quest mode features eleven mini-games “â€ clever hybrids of Bejeweled game-play with other classic game mechanics “â€ comprising 40 total quests.
“Casual video games have been popular going back to the 1980s, but the introduction of Bejeweled 10 years ago launched an entire industry,”Â explained David Cole, founder and president of DFC Intelligence, the oldest research firm focused entirely on the video game market. “No other casual game comes close to the success of Bejeweled in terms of popularity and influence. PopCap has been able to keep the franchise strong for 10 years because they have focused on quality and innovation and have not flooded the market with dozens of sequels. I fully expect Bejeweled 3 to not only be a big success in its own right, but also ensure the Bejeweled brand continues to grow in popularity over its next decade on the market.”Â
New and expanded features in Bejeweled 3 will include:
– Classic: Play the most popular puzzle game of the century, with powerful new gems and new ultra-smooth gameplay
– Quest: Journey through 40 magical puzzles in this multifaceted Bejeweled challenge!
– Zen: Personalize your experience with ambient sounds and binaural beats “â€ a revolutionary new way to relax!
– Lightning: Charge up with a heart-pounding, beat-the-clock bout of gem-blasting fun!
– Secret Games: Unlock 4 all-new games including Butterflies and Ice Storm
– Badges: Earn up to 65 badges to prove your skills
– High-definition graphics and high-fidelity audio: Bejeweled is now more dazzling than ever before!
– Ultra-smooth gameplay: Make multiple matches while new gems fall into place
“The challenge in creating a new version of Bejeweled is to innovate and keep it fresh and exciting without losing touch with the game-play that millions of people love. So we’re very careful when we make changes to the core game, which is why it can take so long!”Â said Jason Kapalka, co-founder and chief creative officer at PopCap and co-creator of Bejeweled. “We’ve worked hard to make sure Bejeweled 3 retains the classic appeal of the earlier games while bringing a host of exciting new features to the table.”Â
Since its introduction 10 years ago, Bejeweled has become one of the top 10 video game franchises in history. More than half a billion people worldwide have played the game, and over 50 million units have been sold across 17 platforms. An estimated 7.5 billion hours have been spent playing Bejeweled, and the game continues to sell at the rate of one copy every 4.3 seconds.
PopCap Games is the leading global developer, publisher and operator of casual video games: fun, easy-to-learn, captivating games that appeal to all ages across PC, mobile, social and other platforms. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of more than 350 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Dublin, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo. PopCap’s games have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, BejeweledÃ‚Â®, has sold more than 50 million units.