PopCap reorganises, losing 50 staff in US and maybe its Dublin office as it deals with F2P social mobile shift
John Vechey explains the hard decision to stay viable
Hitting back at those who claim the whole thing is an EA put-up job, Vechey said "the hard decision" is something that's been made by PopCap's founders, CEO and executives.
"I've seen speculation that EA is no longer letting PopCap run independently, and that's simply not true," he said.
As for outcome, the company will see a "Reduction In Force" in North America of around 50 staff.
However, the company is still hiring in other areas of its business and expects to end 2012 with the same number of staff.
More worrying is the future of its Dublin office, which handles international PR and marketing, mobile development, and support.
Vechey revealed PopCap is talking to its Dublin staff in an "exploratory consultation" to see if it can improve European profitability without closing the office completely. Hence at the best, it seems likely there will be further job cuts in the office.
More generally, these changes are happening as PopCap moves from a product to a service approach.
"Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. That happened fast. Surprisingly so," Vechey pointed out.
"The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganise our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It's a completely different world from when we started."
He added that if PopCap can't adapt, it won't be profitable and won't be able to invest in new IP.
"If we don't stay in business, no more plants, zombies, jewels, frogs or worms."