PopCap to Lay off 12% of Staff
The social and mobile gaming section of Electronic Arts, PopCap, has announced as 12% cut to its North American staff as well as a re-evaluation of the viability of its Dublin studio.
Garth Chouteau, PopCap’s spokesman, said that 50 staff members have been laid off in Seattle and Vancouver. He also said that the company is also assessing the future of its Dublin Studio.
PopCap co-founder, John Vechey, wrote in a blog post that “The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms.” He went on to say that because of the growing popularity of free-to-play social and casual games, the company needs a new strategy that involves managing costs and reorganisation.
Vechey says that if they stuck to their previous business model they would no longer be able to invest in creative new games.
As users grow sick of an endless stream of sequels to previous successes it is certainly important that PopCap focuses on developing new games.
While many people were quick to blame EA for the reduction in staff, according to Vechey the decision to reorganise was entirely PopCap’s with no pressure from EA. He also pointed out that even after the cutbacks the company will end the year with roughly the same amount of employees as it began the year with.
Despite the layoffs it seems that PopCap’s future is secure. EA has recently purchased four social or mobile game companies as they shift their focus to the free-to-play and mobile game markets. EA is also opening its digital store Origin to Android. Everything about their current business strategy suggests that PopCap is in no danger; in fact it is quite the opposite. EA is carefully adapting itself in order to follow the current market trends.