EA cuts jobs at Plants vs. Zombies studio

Publisher confirms job losses were "necessary in order to stay on course with our future plans."

Electronic Arts today cut an unspecified number of positions at Plants vs. Zombies studio PopCap Games, the publisher confirmed to GameSpot. Kotaku first reported the layoffs and has heard from a source that as many as 40 people were affected in today's round of layoffs.

PopCap general manager John Vechey confirmed the cuts, labeling them "painful" but "necessary."

"The changes we made today at PopCap were painful and we’re sorry to lose some of our friends and colleagues. But it was also necessary in order to stay on course with our future plans for mobile games, live services, and new IP. PopCap is a studio that made its name building great games that the world can fall in love with, and that’s what we’ll continue to do."

The PopCap job cuts come after a recent internal reorganization that saw the studio split into two teams: one working on mobile games and the other on console titles.

PopCap's most recent title was February's Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a squad-based third-person shooter for Xbox 360 and Xbox One that critics mostly enjoyed. For more, check out GameSpot's review.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare

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85 comments
fester420
fester420

If they don't cut jobs, how will Andrew Wilson survive on his measley $5,000,000 a year salary?

glacius_x
glacius_x

Another company that EA will drive into the ground.

zeek_fox
zeek_fox

Maybe they should have kept some of their PvZ people on board so they could work on the Facebook version, which hasn't been truly updated since August and still feels rather incomplete.


Oh wait, no, Facebook titles don't make them enough money so they don't care anymore once they've milked the few crazed fans who get addicted to the microtransactions before realizing the game is worse than the original Plants vs Zombies.

CDNkilljoy
CDNkilljoy

This sort of thing does happen after a major title is released where they just don't need the extra people to support the game or start on another game, if in the future they have another big game they would hire more people to get it done.  

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

What an all too familiar story this is these days. It seems this is the way of AAA gaming nowadays. As soon as all the talented people who created a game are finished making a game they are no longer of use so they are discarded to maximise profits for the big corporation.


The only silver lining is if the programmers and artists get tired of this type of treatment and all decide to become indie developers where they can expect to create a game and not get instantly fired as soon as its completed.

Xandagar
Xandagar

I want EA to go down for good.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

Go look at reviews of Garden Warfare on Amazon. there is quite a few that realized that game is online only and were not happy about it. No reason these online only game can't offer an offline mode with bots to fill holes if needed. GOW has had that option in ll their games.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Figured this would happen once they didnt do microtransactions in the game and the CEO wants a 6 million bonus.

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

Does EA stand for Evil Assholes?

commanderxp90
commanderxp90

EA sucks... The Turtle Rock studios would keep hiring with them who got laid off from the PopCap studios.  Let's pray in them getting new job at different game studios in places. 

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

A shame, but still the usual; project is finished and some personnel is removed.

koospetoors
koospetoors

No offense PopCap, but that's what you get for making a deal with the devil

ekisom
ekisom

I sincerely wish EA was never created

juliana9
juliana9

There are also plenty of employees that are hired not on a contract basis, but rather as a full salaried employee.

http://j.mp/DWPMS

cjtopspin
cjtopspin

EA's logo should be a scythe.

WilliamRLBaker
WilliamRLBaker

So basically they released a game than they laid off the staff so they wouldn't have to pay them bonuses based upon the game doing good.


randomkidlol
randomkidlol

Popcap died long ago. The previous owners knew that they couldnt make anymore great games and that their IPs would eventually drop in value along with the rest of their company. They sold it to EA to offload the cash and leave the sinking ship on another sinking ship.

Tanares
Tanares

How many of those were long-time employees... you know, ones back from the Bookworm days... 

LalchandTudu
LalchandTudu

So, it has begun...again...the murder of another studio.

sortajan
sortajan

EA doing what it does best, firing people.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Why does this always become news? It's just normal in many industries, you hire extra staff, maybe temps, the project finishes, the extra staff are no longer needed, you make cutbacks, hell, they were probably only contract workers anyway. This does not mean the company is struggling, it's just the nature of capitalism, people cheating each other to make a buck.

obsequies
obsequies

it hasn't even been released on PC yet and they're firing away

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

EA is a plague it consumes great things and destroys them. Sadly people still buy their half baked rubbish feeding their destructive path. Only way to kill this plague is to stop giving it $$$ fuel let it die out and make the gaming world and world for employees who are losing their jobs a better future.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

And so the cancer starts to eat away at PopCap. Although for once nothing of value was lost.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

Doesn't something like this usually happen shortly after a release for most online based games? It takes a much smaller workforce to maintain an online than to create one....


Alternatively with single player games the teams usually move on to or are reshuffled into other projects.

Mr_Mark_Legion
Mr_Mark_Legion

i swear that reason is almost always used now when ppl get laid off in this industry

pyro1245
pyro1245

is it because you could basically make that game with 1 or 2 people?

halBU
halBU

EA continues the pattern... buy studios, make poor decisions, lay people off.


How I hate you, EA.

teller76567
teller76567

An think E.A just gave their head C.E.O a huge incentive bonus, The gaming industry is going through rough and dark times. Games as we loved are now fading away and now more bs is on the horizon... 

MrWhalo
MrWhalo

I think this headline should have been, 'EA Prunes and Decapitates Plants vs. Zombies studio.'

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

Anyone else noticing a pattern? And I'm ABSOLUTELY sure that in the weeks/months before the deadline on this project, they were working people 80 hours a week. Use 'em, Abuse 'em, toss 'em to the curb. Constantly having to let this many people go shows an ineptitude in EA's management and a disgusting disrespect of the lives they are toying with.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

It is like a one night stand, EA got what they needed and now it is time for you to go because they got stuff to do.

LeoKRock
LeoKRock

Actually that makes a lot of sense.


They hired a bunch of people to make Garden Warfare, a larger than usual game (for PopCap).


Now that the game is finished they don´t need them anymore and scaled back to the regular size.

Fursnake
Fursnake

Scenario: Milkable mobile franchise is not making as much money and the milk is starting to sour, go dry...etc etc* insert your own milk metphor*

EA's response: fire some people!

This makes me think of Zorg from the movie The Fifth Element and the scene where his aide suggests firing 500,000 people and Zorg replies "Fire one million". EA kind of reminds me of that.

Ashbfc
Ashbfc

Advice for developers: Don't sell yourself to EA!!!!

bayernfan
bayernfan

mobile games: main reason for lay offs nowadays. 

mobile games: main reason video games are going down hill...maybe?

Talavaj
Talavaj

Thank you for making us money ! Now enjoy your unpaid vacation !

tzolynski
tzolynski

@XNEXUS666X  I am a Welder/Pipefitter no different in that when a job ramps up they need lots of hands. When its over you just take your layoff and move on. Its not always great but in some industries its just the way it goes.

VincentAntonio
VincentAntonio

@Wrathesoul Last year EA won the worst Company poll, I was in Simcity 2013 forum so many people angry with that bs of game ranting “I will not buy an EA game again”. I was skeptical like “wait to see their last hyped game….” And yes sadly today EA is stronger than ever, stupid Disney sold them EXCLUSIVE license for starwars games, alliance with Microsoft, and you see now all CoD sheeps buying Titanfall like lemmings

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

@teller76567  CEO's getting huge bonuses while employees are laid off are a common practice in most large corporations (gaming or otherwise). CEO's are rewarded for short term profits by share holders, even if those profits come at the cost of the long term well-being of said company. It's how its always worked and it's no surprise that large gaming corporations act the same way...


That said it's a practice that is long overdue to be scrapped.

GIF
GIF

@aegis_kleais True. It's a total in eptitude but also how many overpaid executives keep jobs. Corporate jobs are like this. You have totally inept stupid morons cracking the whip on all the talent and brains of the machine.

surrealme
surrealme

@aegis_kleais Unfortunately this kind of thing is industry wide. When a product ships, many if not most of the staff that developed it are laid off. Game developers are treated like cattle. All the publishers care about is maximizing profit for their shareholders. Want a steady job? Don't be a game developer or VFX artist.