Friday April 26,2013 : POPCAP AND QUICKLIME GAME DEVELOPMENT STUDIOS TO CLOSE
Vancouver casualties of Electronic Arts' restructuring
The Vancouver online gaming development studios of Popcap and Quicklime are to be shuttered by parent Electronic Arts as part of its extensive program of reorganisation, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun Thursday.
An unknown number of employees will be laid-off at the two companies, with one insider telling the newspaper that at Popcap alone there were 30 employees, although some of these would probably be relocated to studios in other cities.
One Popcap employer who has already been notified that he is to be laid off said that the shutdowns were a commercial decision based on the success and profitability of different branches.
“The product we were working on didn’t quite reach the commercial numbers they needed to hit,” he said of the Facebook game the studio created.
“It wasn’t the very important game that all of PopCap or that all of EA is riding on. It was very much an experimental studio mandated to take a few risks, do something cool and see if we can create something awesome.
“While I feel we created something awesome, the numbers weren’t there.”
EA issued a statement Thursday advising:
“In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations.
“These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.”
The cuts and shutdowns were not limited to Vancouver, industry experts said, estimating that around 100 software engineers and designers could be impacted.
The Vancouver Sun reports that Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a restructuring that has seen continued job cuts by EA, most recently with 170 people laid off earlier this month in Montreal. It also comes about a month after EA announced CEO John Riccitiello was stepping down.