Rumours of redundancies at PopCap have been substantiated by the company’s co-founder, John Vechey.
In a press release this morning, Vechey announced an undisclosed number of lay-offs at PopCap’s North American studio, and also that the company's Dublin office was struggling.
“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,” he said.
“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,” Vechey added.
Despite the cuts, PopCap expected to end the year with roughly the same number of employees it started with due to what Vechey called a sudden and dramatic explosion in the popularity of free-to-play, social, and mobile games.
“The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganise our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms,” he said.
“It’s a completely different world from when we started.”
Vechey also addressed rumours that EA was not allowing PopCap to run independently since it acquired the developer a year ago for US$650 million (AU$621 million) in cash and $100 million (AU$95.5 million) in stock.
“That’s simply not true,” he said.
“The founders, CEO, and executives who were in charge of PopCap still are. The decision to reorganise was 100 per cent made by us.”
He said the studio’s focus would now be on expansion into mobile and social gaming, as well as into new markets such as Japan and China.
Rumours regarding layoffs at the company’s Shanghai offices were not addressed.
This news came hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that PopCap was developing a sequel to its much-loved tower defence title Plants vs. Zombies.