PopCap struck by months of quiet lay-offs – source

Tuesday, 21 August 2012 06:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Following yesterday’s rumour of impending lay-offs at PopCap, VG247 has been told that the developer has been making cuts for months.

A source familiar with the matter told us that PopCap has indeed been “very quietly” laying off staff for “several months”.

Asked for further information, EA representatives advised that the publisher does not comment on rumour and speculation.

The news comes just one day after 3D Realms’ George Broussard broke cited his own off-the-record whispers for word of impending mass lay-offs and restructuring at the casual developer.

Yesterday’s rumour raised concern, but fears were quickly put to rest – a little precipitately, it seems – by the sudden announcement of Plants vs Zombies 2 for a northern spring 2013 release.

EA purchased PopCap in August 2011 for $750 million. At the time, the publisher was expected to adopt a largely hands-off approach, supplying the notoriously oddball team with support for multi-platform releases so it could concentrate on new development.

But according to another rumour from earlier this month, EA has spun off a PopCap team at Burnaby for decidedly uncharacteristic activities, namely prototyping a team multiplayer shooter based on the Plants vs Zombies property.

PopCap is well-known for its polished casual games franchises, including Bejeweled, Peggle, Zuma and Bookworm. Playful imprint 4th and Battery produced Unpleasant Horse.