PopCap Vancouver closes doors as EA reportedly culls staff by 10%

'They will be missed', says Probst

PopCap Vancouver closes doors as EA reportedly culls staff by 10%
Rumours of layoffs at Electronic Arts have today been confirmed by the firm, with a statement claiming a re-organsisation of its structure is necessary to meet "priorities in new technologies and mobile."

Though no numbers or indeed affected studios have been named by EA, Kotaku claims the publisher may have culled up to 10 percent of its workforce, with PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime both closing their doors.

No hidden message

"We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees – those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends," said EA in the statement, published on its website.

"These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us."

PopCap Vancouver was best known for being behind EA's hidden object line up, which stretched across PC, Mac, Facebook, tablet and mobile.

According to a leaked internal memo supposedly sent by executive chairman Larry Probst, the reduction in EA's workforce is the result of "difficult decisions" designed to meet the changing games market.


"In recent weeks, the executive team has been tasked with evaluating every area of our business to establish a clear set of priorities, and a more efficient organisational structure," said Probst in the memo, obtained by TechCrunch.

"This process has led to some difficult decisions about the number of people and locations needed to achieve our goals. The workforce reductions which we communicated in the last two weeks represent the majority of our planned personnel actions.

"We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of these individuals – they will be missed by their colleagues and friends at EA."

Probst adds that addition actions are being taken to streamline EA's operations, starting with core marketing functions being consolidated under COO Peter Moore.

Social platform Origin, meanwhile, will now come under the control of president of EA Labels Frank Gibeau.

Difficult decisions

"Change is sometimes difficult, but essential," concluded Probst in the memo.

"The adjustments we are making will put us in the best position to build great games and services, deliver them more efficiently to consumers, and demonstrate to players around the world why they should spend their time with us.

"EA is a great company, with talented and hard-working teams, a strong portfolio of products and an extremely bright future."

News of the layoffs comes little over a month after the resignation of CEO John Riccitiello, who handed in his notice after EA failed to meet financial targets.

Commentators were quick to suggest, however, that Riccitiello's legacy was transforming EA from a publisher focused on boxed goods to one that was now fully versed with the digital market.

It now appears EA requires yet further transformation if the firm is to full get to grips with the fast-moving mobile and tablet sector.

[source: EA]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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