The Beat

POSTED BY ltucker ON Sep 30, 2009 Celebrates Ten Years Of Online Innovation And Community

Billions of Game Sessions Played, Hundreds of Marriages, Several Lives Saved

EA today announced that is celebrating ten years as a top online casual game destination for millions of game fans around the world. launched in 1999 as a start up and has grown from a small offering of games with dozens of players to a global destination offering hundreds of games to millions of users in the North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom making it one of the most trafficked sites on the web, and #1 in stickiness (average minutes/visitor) amongst the top 10 online properties*.  In the past four years alone, players have logged more than 6 billion hours and 8 billion game sessions on the popular site. has been on the forward edge of innovation in the casual online game market over the past decade. Highlights include the introduction of: chat during game sessions (2000), paid subscription with Club Pogo (2003), Pogo Minis (avatars) (2005), Pogo Micro-transactions (Pogo Gems) (2006), Pogo in France and Germany (2008), and a newly designed free home page, scheduled to debut in October 2009.

"Whether you just have five minutes for a quick game break to escape from your busy day or a couple of hours to be immersed in Pogo's rich community gaming experience, we are so proud that has been a pioneer in bringing online fun to millions of users worldwide for the last decade", said Michael Marchetti, Senior Vice President, General Manager of and Social Games. games, such as Poppit!, Word Whomp and First-Class Solitaire, have remained enduring favorites over the past ten years and continue to be the most played among the site's more than 100 free online games.  The number and variety of fun and challenging games in categories such as puzzle, word, card, board, casino, arcade, and sports have proven to be key drivers in the site's popularity boosted by the excitement of social interaction, earning tokens, and the chance to win big prizes.

The vibrant online community is also a major component of  Over the years, the fan base has extended beyond its online borders propelling more than 2,600 players to arrange face-to-face meetings resulting in meaningful friendships, exciting courtships and in the case of 250 lucky individuals -- marriage! kinship even saved a life this summer when a chimney collapsed on a woman who happened to be playing Canasta at the time.  She asked for help in chat and another player in the same game room two states away, dialed for emergency assistance.

"Having been there since day one, it is amazing to reflect on the past ten years of," said Mike Riccio, VP and Chief Technology Officer of, Mobile and Social Games.  "The site was an early participant and innovator and has significantly contributed to the growth and popularity of online casual gaming."

In the spirit of their ten year anniversary, did one of the things is does best - bring people together. They hosted an online "birthday party" to break's Peak Simultaneous Usage (PSU) record for Poppit!,a beloved Pogo game. The record was successfully broken with 181,000 players logging on simultaneously to celebrate while furiously popping balloons and catching up with friends.

* According to ComScore August 09