50 employees let go as casual games developer restructures

Layoffs strike at PopCap as it considers Dublin closure

PopCap has laid off 50 staff in Seattle and Vancouver whilst it is re-evaluating the future of its Dublin office, it has confirmed.

Confirming earlier reports of a number of layoffs, the casual games developer said it still plans to hire more staff in other areas.

The EA-owned studio is also considering closing its Dublin branch as it said the office was not generating sufficient profitability to remain sustainable.

PopCap’s Dublin home currently houses more than 80 developers.

PopCap claimed it had made the layoffs at its North American offices as there had been a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games, noting the rise of free-to-play, social and mobile, which it said didn’t fit in with its current operations.

It also revealed that the developer had found it difficult to maintain high profitability across all its studios, stating it needed to manage costs and improve efficiency to invest in new IP.

It was only in July last year that EA splashed out $750 million on acquiring the Peggle, Bejewelled and Plants vs Zombies developer, as part of its plan to dramatically accelerate the publishing giant’s growth in digital.

EA CEO John Riccitiello said PopCap’s studio talent and IP roster would help drive EA "towards a $1 billion digital business", and pledged to rapidly expand the PopCap business.

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