PopCap Games Cuts Workforce Just After “Plants vs. Zombies” Sequel Announcement

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News Posted: Wed, Aug 22 2012 2:09 AM
The mood around the Seattle offices of PopCap Games was probably high after the company announced the upcoming sequel to “Plants vs. Zombies” (coming spring 2013), but within a day, about 50 of those employees were out of a job.

In a blog post, PopCap co-founder John Vechey wrote that most of the cuts in North America would be from the Seattle location, and what’s more, the entire Dublin, Ireland team--which numbers around 500 people, according to Bloomberg--may be on the chopping block, as well.

PopCap layoffs

To Vechey’s credit, he doesn’t try to sugarcoat what’s happening or spin it as anything other than what it is. For example, when he uses the terms “reduction in force” regarding Seattle and “exploratory consultation” about Dublin, he follows it up with this:

And now in English: [emphasis his] “Reduction In Force” means that some people are losing their jobs. “Exploratory consultation” means we’re talking to our Dublin team about the future of that office and whether we can find a path to improve our profitability in Europe without having to close the operation.

Vechey pegs the need for reorganization on the rapidly changing casual gaming market--specifically, free-to-play, social, and mobile games--which is leading PopCap to “invest in new types of games on new platforms” while expanding into new markets including Japan and China.

He also indicated that were it not for PopCap's year-old integration with EA, the cuts could have been much deeper. As it is, there's a possibility that some of the laid off workers be redistributed elsewhere at EA.
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CDeeter replied on Wed, Aug 22 2012 8:33 AM

Man the video game world seems like a nightmare world to work in. One day your up, the next your down. Teams forming and breaking up, being bought and sold. I don't think I could take the stress.

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Jaybk26 replied on Wed, Aug 22 2012 11:18 AM

I really appreciate the fact that Vechey doesn't hide behind a superfluity of words. He says what is happening and he does it fully understanding the effects it will have on his employees lives. That's an honest man, imo.

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Erakith replied on Wed, Aug 22 2012 1:11 PM

A shame. Plants V Zombies was a fun game, but it doesn't offer replayability or a decent stream of revenue for PopCap due to the fact it IS casual, has no paid features, and doesn't have a high up front cost.

Heart goes out to those laid off, and if they don't get redistributed within the EA company infrastructure, I hope they find somewhere else to utilize their talents.

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LKnudson replied on Wed, Aug 22 2012 2:36 PM

Yeah I hate when people try and hide what is actually happening behind fancy words and bad promises

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This sucks . Layoffs everywhere now in the tech world. But cant blame them we are in a recessio right now. Plants and zombies is an ok game could use better improvement. But its sad to hear aboit lauoffs

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