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John Vechey departs Popcap

"Maybe I'll stick with non-profit work, maybe start a new company"

PopCap's general manager John Vechey has announced he is leaving the company over 14 years after he co-founded it. Vechey's departure means that PopCap no longer has any of its founding team with the company.

"The future is also bright for EA and I continue to believe in Andrew's vision of a company that puts its players first. The best years are ahead for both EA and PopCap, and I look forward to watching development teams live up to what it means to be electronic artists," he said in a letter to PopCap employees, published by EA.

After founding the company in March 2000 Vechey saw it through its acquisition by EA in July 2011. In his letter he was unsure about his long-term future and didn't make it clear whether or not he hoped to continue in the games industry.

"I will be spending some time working with environmental news non-profit, of which I am a board member. I'll be taking some non-violence workshops, furthering some of the things I've learned from being part of the Quaker community, while I explore peace and social justice issues, such as war abolition, prison reform, poverty and the effects of race and gender privilege.

"And after that? Who knows what the future will hold. Maybe I'll stick with non-profit work, maybe start a new company, or maybe join a bigger one."

Frank Gibeau, the executive vice president of EA Mobile, praised Vechey's contribution to PopCap and EA and reassured gamers about the studio's future.

"John leaves PopCap in deeply capable hands. The PopCap mobile studio will continue to be led by Steve Mauri, Cara Ely and Jon David, and the teams are already pushing forward into exciting directions," he promised.

"We have games in the pipeline including an all-new Peggle, new concepts coming through rapid development at PopLabs, and global opportunities for PopCap brands like PvZ. PopCap continues to be a core studio in EA's mobile efforts, and I know our players will be thrilled with what's to come from this talented group."

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.