King’s Candy Crush, which has ruled the “match-3” game category for quite a while on the mobile platform, could be running for its money as Electronic Arts’ PopCap Games division is now shooting for a comeback with their new game, Bejeweled Stars.
Bejeweled Stars Aims to Bring EA Back Into the Mobile Market
EA just recently announced that they will be returning the Bejeweled franchise to the mobile platform with Bejeweled Stars. It is a fully re-imagined game that has launched as a free-to-play title for iOS and Android devices. What makes this particular mobile title important as the Bejeweled franchise was kicked off for casual games that has first debuted back in 2001. Its audience back then were recorded for female gamers, and these weren’t the type of players who would go on and playing games until the wee hours of the morning. Rather, the game did open up a path for a huge market amongst non-gamers. Furthermore, it even paved the way for the creation of countless clones.
Back in 2011, EA launched Bejeweled 3 for the PC platform and Bejeweled Blitz for Facebook and mobile starting in 2009. Heather Hazen, game general manager for the new Bejeweled title, stated the following in an interview with GamesBeat: “We created the match-3 phenomenon with that game and we have been thinking a lot about how we evolve the brand since then. Back in the days of Facebook, it was a different level of audience with more than a million active players.”
“At the time, we didn’t have a plan for taking it to mobile. We then moved Bejeweled Blitz onto mobile on iOS and Android. We thought about it like ‘Spider-Man.’ With great power comes great responsibility,” she added.
Before releasing the final design of the new Bejewled game, EA prototyped six or seven version of the title before calling it final. EA shifted onto the Unity game engine. “The amazing thing about Unity is how fast you can prototype,” Hazen stated. “We went back to our roots in what PopCap does well. We thought about mechanics that feel really great and turn it into something a Bejeweled audience would understand.”
With Bejeweled Stars, players are required to match three gems and aim to trigger all sorts of action. These actions can make for multiple explosions or can even cause newer challenges. It even has new characters which are Felis, Corvus, the StormCrow, and StarCat. These serve as a guide for the player.