EA's Gibeau on PopCap cuts

And investing in next-gen "in a big way"

President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau has explained some of the thinking behind the recent PopCap job cuts, citing efficiency and a move away from social.

"Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we go slow initially and really understand the culture of the company, and then we look for whether there's opportunities to integrate the companies - and then we accelerate," Gibeau told Bloomberg.

"So with PopCap, what we found is that there are some areas inside PopCap that were duplicative of what EA was doing; a lot of central resources, legal, business affairs those types of things so we accelerated the integration there. We also looked at pivoting a little bit harder towards mobile and away from social so we made some adjustments," he said.

Earlier this month the Peggle developer confirmed job cuts at both its North American and Dublin operations.

In the short interview Gibeau was also asked about the social gaming market, and EA's push for mobile.

"My sense is that mobile is pulling a lot of gamers off social and mobile is booming right now. Whether its tablets or smartphones - Android and iOS are clearly the two leaders there. We're a big player there we're number one in terms of market share," he said.

"We're pivoting hard toward mobile because it is the fastest-growing segment of the interactive games business right now and it's certainly probably pulling most of the activity off social, and that's why you see the flattening in social right now - and frankly where the problem is that Zynga's encountering."

He also addressed the next generation of consoles, and said new hardware would be arriving next year. He said EA was investing in new technology in a big way because that, along with game diversity, was key to coming out on top.

'"Transition is our friend' is the saying we have at EA, because it gives you a chance to reset everything. And we've done enough transitions in this business that we know what we're doing, and we're going to go after this one in a big way," he promised.

"It's a time where you see new companies emerge as leaders, and traditional companies fall away."

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Latest comments (2)

Take home message for Q3 2012 - Mobile is booming, social is flatlined. What lies in store in 2013 (revenge of the PC?) I wonder
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Michael Scandizzo Partner, Inert Soap9 years ago
George Fan, the creator of Plants Vs Zombies, was hardly a redundancy nor did he work in legal or business affairs. His game is the single biggest seller for PopCap on mobile, so de-emphasizing social games is no explanation. In fact, it was likely that his IP was what led to the high valuation of PopCap and its purchase by EA. His termination was deplorable, and I have lowered my expectations from PopCap both due to the loss of talent and the poor judgment of management. The PVZ sequel developed without him will not only lack the character of the first, but will be an admission by PopCap of the value of what George created for them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Michael Scandizzo on 30th August 2012 6:32pm

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