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PopCap Under Threat From Free To Play & Social Games, Job Losses Announced

Jonathan Lester
EA, Free to play, Mobile games, PopCap

PopCap Under Threat From Free To Play & Social Games, Job Losses Announced

Blames Changing Market, Not EA

PopCap co-founder John Vechey has reached out to confirm that they've had to make 50 staffers redundant in order to stay in business. Taking great pains to explain that EA took no part in the decision, he laid out plans to adapt in the face of the growing free to play and social markets, which "challenged" their traditional premium-priced app business model.

"Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity," Vechey explained in a recent blog post. "That happened fast. Surprisingly so. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It's a completely different world from when we started."

"To stay in business, we need to manage costs, improve efficiency and maintain a profit. We've been able to invest in creative new games like Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies because we had a high profit business. That business is challenged, and if we don't adapt, we won't be able to invest in new IP."

"That sounds harsh - but if we don't stay in business, no more plants, zombies, jewels, frogs or worms."

"The decision to reorganise was 100 per cent made by us, with no pressure from EA," Vechey hastened to add. "Some of the people affected by the reorganization may be retrained and reassigned to other jobs in the EA studios. If we didn't have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse."

We knew that something was amiss when Popcorn Dragon, a content-complete app that we played at an EA showcase last summer, failed to materialise. Perhaps we can expect Plants vs Zombies 2 to be free to play?

Add a comment3 comments
DivideByZero  Aug. 22, 2012 at 14:45

I suspected EA buying PopCap would be bad.

I know they are not blaming EA and saying it's the market... but if PopCap had full control, maybe they would be doing great now?

They make fun addictive games... much like the tyrant Zynga, who EA are trying to sue right now.

I hope PopCap survive this.

Late  Aug. 23, 2012 at 10:15

:D I sold my company for a billion dollars...

:( I need to sack a few of you...

Dude sounds like an asshat.

MattGardner  Aug. 23, 2012 at 12:31

Atomic Tank 2 or bust!

Also, considering the rapidity with which Vechey made his money the whole notion of the market's swiftness sneaking up on Popcap is frankly ludicrous.

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