PopCap Lays Off More Employees

PopCap Lays Off More Employees

PopCap logo

Electronic Arts has confirmed that Plants vs. Zombies studio PopCap Games has suffered another round of layoffs.

PopCap Games, the developer of Bejeweled, Peggle, Zuma, Plants vs. Zombies and a pile of other "casual" hits, has once again been hit with layoffs. An anonymous source told GameFront that up to 30 people have been let go, and while parent company Electronic Arts would not verify that number, it did confirm that layoffs have taken place.

"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 co-founder and General Manager John Vechey said in a statement. "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."

PopCap's most recent release was Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, a multiplayer third-person shooter based on the hit Plants vs. Zombies franchise. The game was reasonably, but not spectacularly, received by critics: It holds a Metacritic rating of 76 on the Xbox One, while Jim Sterling described it in his review as "a forgettable little shooter than doesn't make use of the potential it has."

PopCap went through two separate rounds of layoffs in August and September 2012, which included the release of original Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan.

Source: GameFront

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Isn't this a theme of EA, you know, buying and then gutting companies. Have to love these juggernauts, buying up the little guys and then skimming them to "fit the image" of the juggernaut, while reducing all personality to "one of us, one of us!".

I've been on an "undercover boss" watching spree and this corporate approach to things is always evil, even the CEO's of companies have said "it different from seeing a name on a piece of paper and actually seeing that person, learning their life story".

I can bet the people at EA had a huge list, used some kind of criteria and fired everybody who didn't fit it, without even meeting them, mailed the list of "to be fired" over to popcap and the top guy had to have a lot of meetings.

One of my neighbors actually got laid off because of this, makes you really sad of the fact that thousands if not more of peoples ability to put food on the table is in the hands of a company who throws away employees as if it was nothing on a regular basis.

Where's the sensationalism we've come to expect?!?

Headline should be "Jim Sterling Causes Termination of 30 Pop-Cap Employees".

;P

Ah, another company caught by EA that will be drained of every last drop of talent and imagination. It will shamble on for awhile, making mindless, soulless games based on their IPs that used to mean something, until it inevitably collapses. EA will then cast its hollowed out husk onto the pile of the many that came before.

EA is the vampire of the video game market. I'm not talking sparkly emo vampire. I'm talking olden time, tell your children about them so they stay indoors at night type of vampire.

Good old EA. Buy up great companies, force them to make shitty games, then punish all the devs for doing exactly what you told them to instead of letting them make something good.

MinionJoe:
Where's the sensationalism we've come to expect?!?

Headline should be "Jim Sterling Causes Termination of 30 Pop-Cap Employees".

;P

Come on, that's amateurish. It should be:

'Jim Sterling Deprives Pop-Cap Employees of Pay. Families Suffer'

I also don't get why they are firing people from Pop Cap when they are probably EAs best bet at getting some decent mobile games on the market. Although I think what they want from mobile games is cheap development and microtransactions in every tender crevice rather than quality.

CriticalMiss:

'Jim Sterling Deprives Pop-Cap Employees of Pay. Families Suffer'

I am duly humbled. ;)

So far as why the layoffs, that's easy to explain.

Remember last August when EA said they were going to focus on "next-gen and mobile gaming"?

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/24/ea-peter-moore-interview-gamescom-2013/

This is them "focusing" on mobile gaming.

It's seldom a good thing when EA focuses on something.

Rather like ants under a magnifying glass, actually. :P

CriticalMiss:

MinionJoe:
Where's the sensationalism we've come to expect?!?

Headline should be "Jim Sterling Causes Termination of 30 Pop-Cap Employees".

;P

Come on, that's amateurish. It should be:

'Jim Sterling Deprives Pop-Cap Employees of Pay. Families Suffer'

I also don't get why they are firing people from Pop Cap when they are probably EAs best bet at getting some decent mobile games on the market. Although I think what they want from mobile games is cheap development and microtransactions in every tender crevice rather than quality.

come on!

we had more sensationalistic news article on the escapist recently.

you have to step it up a notch.

it should say: "jim sterling destroys popcap! sources say at least 10 of the fired men commited suicide right away."

EA claims another sacrifice.
I wonder if their evil strategy is to buy all other companies and kill them off until they are the last one remaining.

Next Victim: Criterion. Most of the talent has already been drained and now that the Co-founders are gone too its only a matter of time before they start with the layoffs to "bring you the best possible entertainment" Burnout moblie: 1$ per roadmeter.

Knowing EA chances are the latest plants vs zombies had to get at least an 80 on metacritic in order to have everyone keep their jobs. Otherwise everyone has their name put in a hat and 30 people are fired at random.

Looks like whoever had "popcap" in the "EA Kill" pool may be the winner.
Although I'm not sure if Bioware is currently in a "Weekend at Bernie's"

This pisses me off. Why can't it be the likes of King and such laying off staff? Why PopCap, who are one of the good ones? Not that I want to see anyone get laid off at all, but it's unfair seeing the worst companies get away with whatever they want while the employees of the decent ones suffer and get fired because of the whims of their evil corporate paymasters...

It was just a matter of time, sadly.

The only exception to EAs devouring that people could point to in the past was Bioware, and it seems pretty clear that's a shell of what it used to be by now, with even the founders of it gone.

I don't want to reflexively "hate on" EA... But good lord, this is becoming a pattern. Turning successful, smaller independent studios into kibble.

I'm starting to think some venture capitalist could do pretty well for him or herself by buying formerly successful IPs on the cheap when EA screws them up and selling them back to scrappy Kickstarter campaigns run by the people who used to work on those IPs before EA fired them.

Trivun:
Why can't it be the likes of King and such laying off staff?

Because King is busy preparing for a $7.8 billion IPO.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/03/12/candy-crusher-maker-king-sets-ipo-valuation-as-high-as-7-6-billion/

MinionJoe:
[

It's seldom a good thing when EA focuses on something.

Rather like ants under a magnifying glass, actually. :P

Hah, burn!

As for the OT, I might fall over and die of not surprised. EA has tons of talent squandered by an incompetent management core. It remains to be seen if the talent of the creators or the ineptitude of the management will win out. It's fascinating to see EA thrash around, fighting for survival as it tries to simultaneously eat itself.

 

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