Techcrunch is reported a rumor that someone is close to buying PopCap Games for $1 billion. That’s right, I said it – $1 billion … dollars!

Techcrunch speculates on who the buyer may be. Rumors were that Zynga was looking very closely at PopCap but got scared off by the big price tag. There is always Electronic Arts, but with their own valuation of $5 billion, $1 billion sounds awfully high. Other good candidates are companies from Asia, especially since this has been an area of huge investment for PopCap in the past few years.

PopCap reportedly makes $100 – 150 million a year, which makes $1 billion a steep price tag, but pales in comparison to the frothy IPO that is Linked In ($200 million revenues, $3 billion valuation by going IPO).

My money is on PopCap keeps giving them exclusives on Android titles and both are in Seattle. Or, a company from Asia. Another possibility is that this is just a rumor. It was leaked out to create interest in PopCap as they consider an IPO.

PopCap has brilliantly been able to make as much money as possible from their key game franchises, Bejewelled, Zuma, and Plants VS. Zombies. Their weakness is that their studio is very slow at creating hits, averaging a super-hit every few years. There is tremendous pressure to create the next super-hit and the competition now is fierce for mindshare. Having said that, if PopCap does get bought for $1 billion, I wouldn’t be surprised. The market’s a bit frothy now and their IP is the gold standard for casual games.