Monday August 27,2012 : POPCAP GAMES STAFF LAY OFF
Addresses shift in consumer behaviour
Social games developer PopCap Games'employees were in for bad news as co-founder John Vechey confirmed the retrenchment of 50 staff members from its Seattle studios and warned of the further possibility of shuttering its Irish studio should profitability not improve.
Vechey's announcement, made in a blog post on PopCap’s official website, attributed the lay-off's to "a reorganisation in our studios due to a fast-changing industry" despite the company hiring aggressively over the past year and delivering continued fast-paced growth.
The Electronic Arts subsidiary, who developed the block buster games Bejewelled and Plants vs. Zombies, said a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games has forced it to re-evaluate and reorganise the business with a view to investing in new types of games on new platforms.
Vechey emphasised in the post that PopCap founders and executives had made the decision independently of parent company Electronic Arts (EA) saying "EA has provided a lot of resources for us to grow and allowed us to operate as an independent studio. I’ve seen speculation that EA is no longer letting PopCap run independently, and that’s simply not true. If we didn’t have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse."
PopCap plans on narrowing its focus on the mobile and social platforms along with expansion into new markets such as Japan and China.