Future of PopCap's Dublin studio in question after US layoffs

F2P model partly to blame

Future of PopCap's Dublin studio in question after US layoffs

Jobs at PopCap's Dublin studio are at risk today, after around 50 employees were fired from the dev's Seattle headquarters.

PopCap co-founder John Vechey confirmed rumours that staff were being let go yesterday evening, saying his company's North America operation is currently undergoing a "Reduction In Force".

Speaking on the PopCap blog, he also revealed that an "exploratory consultation" to determine the future of the Dublin offices is underway.

If the Plants vs. Zombies dev can't find a way to improve profitability in Europe, further job losses - or even the closure of the Dublin studio - could be inevitable.

Turning tides

Vechey cited "a dramatic change in the people play and pay for games" as one of the catalysts for the shake-up.

"Free-to-play, social, and mobile games have exploded in popularity. That happened fast. Surprisingly so," Vechey explained.

"If we don't adapt, we won't be able to invest in new IP. That sounds harsh - but if we don't stay in business, no more plants, zombies, jewels, frogs, or worms."

He was also keen to stress that this "hard decision" has nothing to do with pressure or interference from PopCap's parent company, EA.

"If we didn't have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse."
James Gilmour
James Gilmour
James pivoted to video so hard that he permanently damaged his spine, which now doubles as a Cronenbergian mic stand. If the pictures are moving, he's the one to blame.