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EA.com hopes to see bounce from Pogo acquisition

The subsidiary of entertainment software maker Electronic Arts acquires the online gaming company, calling it an attractive target because of the amount of time fans spend on the site.

EA.com, a subsidiary of entertainment software maker Electronic Arts, said Wednesday it acquired online gaming company Pogo.com.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a spokesman for Electronic Arts said the price paid for Pogo was less than $150 million. "I've heard someone note that figure today and it's simply not true," Electronic Arts spokesman Jeff Brown said. "It was much less."

Earlier this month, Vivendi Universal subsidiary Flipside.com said it planned to acquire online gaming site and Pogo rival Uproar in a deal worth about $140 million. Excite@Home, which had made a bid to acquire Pogo, pulled out of the deal in January but kept its 10 percent equity stake in the site.

Privately held Pogo has 17 million registered customers and is an attractive acquisition target because of the "high number of hours fans spend on the site each month," Redwood City, Calif.-based EA.com said in a statement.

Some of San Francisco-based Pogo's best-known games are Poppit, a puzzle game that offers players the chance to win prizes, and Buckaroo Blackjack, a card game with a western theme.

Pogo will remain a free site, Brown said. Although EA.com is also a free site, Electronic Arts has steadily increased the number of subscription based games, including popular virtual world game Ultima Online.

Electronic Arts, which reported $1.4 billion in revenue last year, was trading at $50 at the end of regular trading Wednesday, near its 52-week high of $57.93

EA.com provides games for AOL Time Warner's Games channel.