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PopCap lay-offs addressed “duplicative” roles, shift to mobile focus – Gibeau

Thursday, 30th August 2012 03:06 GMT By Brenna Hillier

PopCap’s lay-offs are part of the studio’s integration with EA, according to EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau, and also part of the publisher’s new focus on mobile gaming.

“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,” Gibeau told Bloomberg of recent job cuts.

“And then we look for whether there’s opportunities to integrate the companies – and then we accelerate.

“So with PopCap, what we found is that there are some areas inside PopCap that were duplicative what EA was doing; a lot of central resources, legal, business affairs those types of things so we accelerated the integration there.”

Gibeau said that as well as cutting duplicate roles, the restructuring addressed EA’s belief that mobile gaming is the most important sphere in the casual realm, where PopCap is a major player.

“We also looked at pivoting a little bit harder towards mobile and away from social so we made some adjustments there,” he said.

“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.

“We’re pivoting hard toward mobile because it is the fastest-growing segment of the interactive games business right now.”

On a related note, when asked about rival Zynga’s continuing financial difficulties, Gibeau said the transition from social to mobile is the most likely cause.

“[Mobile]‘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.”

The full segment is well worth a watch; at one point, Gibeau describes Frostbite as EA’s ace in the hole for surviving the next console transition.

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4 Comments

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  1. GrimRita

    So the guy who created Plants v Zombies was a duplicate role?

    ‚ÄúTypically 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,”
    Translated means – All we care about is buying up their IPs and turning them into flops

    #1 2 years ago
  2. VancouverBlade

    @1 – While it’s undoubtedly crappy behaviour to lay off someone who created such an incredible game I know from experience EA pay very well when they let people go so he’ll have done ok.

    I can’t imagine he’ll have too much trouble finding a new job. All his CV needs to say is: “I created Plants vs Zombies” and the new company should just show him straight to his new desk.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    Whilst that may be ok for him, but the others that have built a successful company now find themselves kicked in the bollocks. It’s tough because the decision process was probably out of their hands.

    And honestly, if any company sells itself to EA, the staff should start looking for jobs asap!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    Basically, if you care about your employees, don’t sell out to a big Publisher.

    #4 2 years ago