PopCap endures significant layoffs

[UPDATE] EA-owned Bejeweled studio reduces staff by 50 in main office, to explore closing operation in Dublin.

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Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies creator PopCap has been significantly cut down a year after its acquisition by Electronic Arts. Industry sources previously indicated the casual gaming giant may be up for reduction. The rumors were corroborated today by Jeff Green, PopCap's director of editorial and social media, on his Twitter account.

Sometimes the zombies win.

After joking that he picked a good week to start sniffing glue, Green said, "In semi-related news, I still have a job." His comments came minutes after 3D Realms co-creator George Broussard tweeted that PopCap's studios in Dublin and Shanghai were cut down, and around 50 employees were laid off from its main Seattle office.

EA purchased PopCap in July 2011 for a total figure somewhere between $750 million and $1.3 billion. The company announced earlier this week that its tower-defense sequel Plants vs. Zombies 2 will arrive in late spring of 2013.

[UPDATE] PopCap co-founder John Vechey confirmed the studio has cut its North American presence by about 50 people, and is investigating whether it needs to shutter its Dublin operation. He said Electronic Arts did not push for the reorganization, and "if we didn’t have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse."

Discussion

26 comments
blue_francis14
blue_francis14

Damn it! I bought PvZ when it was on sale and then bought the PvZ GoTY on Steam and still with the layoff? Why can't I help them! Why??? Oh wait... EA.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i like popcap games but ea suck. if only ea did not get there hands on them.

BenFireFox
BenFireFox

it wouldt be ea if they dont try to make the same quiality of a product with half the team lol :/

Auction_Sniper
Auction_Sniper

Isn't this the usual thing that happens aftre a developer gets bought out? (Konami buying Hudson soft, Microsoft buying out Rare).

catsimboy
catsimboy

So is this the casual game bubble bursting? Now let's see MumbJumbo games die for consuming Ritual Entertainment and killing the SiN episodes! 

farcorners
farcorners

if EA didn't buy this company a year ago at a hugely over-inflated price, they could have bought it this year, for far less, and not thrown their shareholders money into a pit. Don't give me any 'strategic purchase' crap. Reminds me of when AOL bought Time Warner in what everyone knew was a market bubble!

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

How many versions of Bejeweled can you make?  Unfortunately for the casual game market, you have people rampantly copying each other left and right.  On top of all the different official versions of Bejeweled, there are probably a dozen other knock-offs that exist that are just like it.

 

My mother plays a Bust-A-Move/Puzzle Bobble knock-off and two other games that look like minor variations of Bejeweled on Facebook.  This crap is all over the place.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Sorry to hear the bad news for some emplloyees, I will def be picking up Plants vs. Zombies 2 though. :P

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

This is unfortunate for those who work in the company and I wonder the reasons for the layoffs.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

that's what happen when you take EA's money and sold your company to the devil...

servb0ts
servb0ts

Layoff before holiday shopping are planned, tsk tsk tsk.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Now you are officially in EA's Team.You've just been manipulated and altered in something different..

blackothh
blackothh

and another one bites the dust. never should have trusted EA

Cait
Cait

(o.o) One word, diversifiy. Make different sort of games, expand what kind of games you make.  I mean, a game like Plants vs Zombies was a very different take, I don't buy many of your other games, because they don't interest me.  I think you could expand into making console games, too, if you just looked outside of your comfortable box you're sitting in.  Just me, but you could learn a lesson from Plants vs Zombies, I know I did.  (^_^)

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

I even bought PvZ for the PS3 and still it didn't help!

timmy0001
timmy0001

 @thom_maytees The reason is because it's now owned by EA and they don't care about their employees. Hopefully all of PopCap saw the writing on the wall and updated their resumes last July.

tokeiozu
tokeiozu

 @Cait You mean make other games like Bejeweled, Peggle, Bookworm, Zuma, and many more? You mean games like Peggle, PvZ, Bejeweled, Zuma, Heavy Weapon for consoles? Feeding Frenzy? Seriously? PopCap is pretty diversified if you ask me. Clearly you don't know what PopCap is.  

 

EA just axed them a day after they announce a sequel to one of their most popular franchises. W.T.F. EA?

SPP_01
SPP_01

 @timmy0001 Might be best to wait for an official statement before blindly jumping to the conclusion that "EA doesn't care about their employees." That is quite a statement with little information to support it. 

Cait
Cait

 @tokeiozu  I do know what kind of games they make, because I have looked on their site before.  Plants vs Zombies was one of two games I have bought from them.  Plus, if that wasn't enough I look at companies I buy one game from, because I know I have a greater possibility of liking the other stuff.  No, all those games you mention are the same kind of games, they aren't diversified. They're really well at mostly making puzzle sort of games, that's not a variety.  They need to expand past their little comfortable box or else, EA wouldn't have been able to buy them up.  Plants vs Zombies was most unique game I've seen in a while and very different than the other stuff.  I won't change my opinion, because I do put a lot of thought into it. 

 

People being laid off right after an announcement of a sequel, says they're trying to save money and that NO ONE IS BUYING THEIR GAMES!  Hence my comment is likely what they need to do, but sigh, don't fret, it's the same advice I'd give most companies these days, because they're no one has variety.

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

 @SPP_01  Do you think EA wouldn't shield themselves out of this? Of course they do! They are voted by Consumerist readers as the worst company in America. They have a lot of PR crap on their faces and they can't afford to have another PR shitstorm

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

 @SPP_01  And has EA ever lied...or caused anyone it's bought to lie???

 

Seriously, hope the internship there works out...it won't because you aren't an executive better suited to making little debbie snack cakes but nonetheless hope spings eternal! 

SPP_01
SPP_01

 @timmy0001 Well, seeing how it's stated several times in the article that this decision was not made or influenced by EA, i'm inclined to side with PopCap.Unless you have some inside information on the situation, I see no reason why people shouldn't take PopCap's word for it.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

 @SPP_01 wow man, you are so far out there, i have to ask what planet are you from?

 

or is this the first article you've ever read about ea?

 

timmy0001
timmy0001

 @SPP_01 I don't believe that for a second. If someone buys your company for >$750 million you better believe that every decision you make from then on out will be largely influenced by your new owners. Stating otherwise is just PR spinning. Just because EA didn't say "layoff this many employees" doesn't mean they didn't say "decrease costs by $XX" which most often translates into layoffs. 

timmy0001
timmy0001

 @SPP_01 EA, like many video game companies, has a long history of abusing its employees. Check out the "cons" section of this: http://davidcrew.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-its-like-to-work-at-ea-an-employees-perspective/     and this article     http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-settles-ot-dispute-disgruntled-spouse-outed-6148369       and this one   http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/07/ea-planning-upcoming-layoffs-completed-by-september-30-2012/

Let me know if you need more.