PopCap confirms "reorganization" and layoffs

PopCap Dublin has a questionable future and some in Seattle are fired

EA subsidiary PopCap has confirmed layoffs in company "reorganization". The news kicked off over the weekend when 3D Realms founder George Broussard warned possible job cuts where coming to PopCap on Twitter.

"Sources say shakeup and layoffs are imminent at PopCap," said Broussard in his first tweet.

Other sources then told VG247 that PopCap had been "very quietly" firing staff for "several months". This led to Broussard stating that PopCap Shanghai and PopCap Dublin were on the chopping block, with further cuts at its Seattle offices.

"PopCap Dublin/Shanghai shut down/shrunk. 50ish people in Seattle laid off. Brutal," he tweeted today.

Certain layoffs were finally confirmed in a blog post by PopCap co-founder John Vechey, who made no mention of any issues at PopCap Shanghai.

"This morning we informed our employees about a reorganization in our studios that will include a "Reduction In Force" in our North American operation - mostly in our headquarters here in Seattle - and an "exploratory consultation" to evaluate the future of our PopCap office in Dublin, Ireland," stated Vechey.

""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. Today's news is something you expect periodically from a company in a fast-changing industry, but it sucks if you're one of the people losing his or her job. These people are our friends and we don't like doing this," he continued.

"We've made hard decisions before, even had cuts before - at this time in North America there are about 50 people who will no longer work at PopCap."

Vechey also tackled why PopCap was making the cuts, and stated that the decision to reorganize was made internally by PopCap, not by EA.

"In the past year, we've seen a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games. Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. 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," he said.

"We're growing quickly into new areas of mobile and social, and are expanding in new markets like Japan and China. And there are many more great games to come from PopCap."

"The decision to reorganize was 100 percent made by us, with no pressure from EA," he added.

Amidst the stories of layoffs, PopCap also announced a sequel to Plants vs. Zombies, with a planned release window of late spring 2013.

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Latest comments (13)

John Donnelly Quality Assurance 9 years ago
Best of luck to everyone impacted by this news.

You would think with the new tax breaks in Ireland popcap and EA would be looking to try and make the use of those but if they are shuttering the Dublin office thats not good news at all.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
Dublin is hideously expensive, and for no good reason. Good luck to all affected, but I can't really say i'm that surprised.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 9 years ago
True Fran it is extreamily expensive but its still hard to hear of a company like popcap closing after the goverment announced tax breaks.
Its going to be much harder to attract companies to make use of them if the cost base is still higher than in other countries.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
Sure. My sister's lived there for about 20 years, and the few times I've visited her I've been stunned at how expensive it is. I wonder how much of that is due to Ireland's low corporation tax rate.
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bizzarely, they are all coming to London. so perhaps the trade networks are just important than just cost base?
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robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard9 years ago
More bad news ... and more friends affected :-( ... again, if anyone is looking for new opportunities, drop us an email ... ... right now we're advertising for editor/engine programmers - and have a current urgent requirement for a UI programmer, someone with ActionScript experience..

All the best to everyone involved ...
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
Best of luck to everyone affected. What a depressing day for (what I thought were) stalwart video game developers.
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It could be part of a cyclical Q2 thing

If you analyse as a whole - PopCap (EA), Funcom, THQ, Sony, Blizzard, Tera happened en massed this week, whereas Bioware austin already had theirs earlier on.
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Celia Francis CEO, WeeWorld9 years ago
If there are any PopCap Dublin folks who could be interested in moving to Glasgow, Scotland we are hiring Product Managers, UI Designers, iOS developers and a Studio Head for web and mobile games for WeeWorld. Right now we have the #1 Educational Game (UK in the iTunes Store), #3 Educational Game in the US, #11 Kids Game in the US. So we are doing some fun stuff. Good luck to everyone.
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James Wells Gaming Contributor - 9 years ago
Huh... so I'm guessing Solitaire Blitz isn't paying the bills like they hoped it would?
In all seriousness though, that's sad news. Best of luck to those affected.
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There is some serious restructuring going on in the consumer game sector - why have we not seen a definitive feature in the media about what is happening with some numbers of layoffs and the true size of the current development sector?

Good luck to all impacted by these developments.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D9 years ago
Definitely a recommendation here for Bob's Pitbull - an awesome bunch and definitely worth looking at.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 9 years ago
Good luck to all you guys affected...

So much job woes going on at the moment. : (
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