Gibeau: PopCap cuts due to "duplicative" roles with EA

The recent job cuts at PopCap were due to roles that were duplicative” of those that already existed at parent company EA.

That’s according to EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau, who says that the loss of jobs is a normal and expected process as part of any takeover.

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, as transcribed by VG247.

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.”

EA acquired PopCap in 2011. Around 50 jobs were cut from PopCap’s Seattle office last week and the future of its Dublin office is currently under review.

However, PopCap co-founder John Vechey also moved to deflect criticism from EA, claiming that had it not have been for the takeover the company would likely have faced an even worse situation.

One year ago, we decided to integrate PopCap with EA. I know I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else right now,” he insisted.

EA has provided a lot of resources for us to grow and allowed us to operate as an independent studio. I’ve seen speculation that EA is no longer letting PopCap run independently, and that’s simply not true. The founders, CEO, and executives who were in charge of PopCap still are. The decision to reorganize was 100 per cent made by us, with no pressure from EA.

EA has a diverse business with games on consoles, PCs and practically every other platform under the sun. We’re glad to have those resources supporting us when a lot of other independent studios are struggling. In addition, some of the people affected by the reorganization may be retrained and reassigned to other jobs in the EA studios.

If we didn’t have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse.”

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