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'About 50 people' affected by layoffs at PopCap

6:00 PM on 08.21.2012

Jordan Devore

Managing Editor

Following rumblings of layoffs at PopCap Games earlier today, co-founder John Vechey has commented on the company's "reorganization" in a blog post. Around 50 people have lost their jobs in North America, and Vechey says "we're talking to our Dublin team about the future of that office and whether we can find a path to improve our profitability in Europe without having to close the operation."

Continuing, he explains that "In the past year, we've seen a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games. Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. That happened fast. Surprisingly so. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms."

Of course, there's the economic aspect to this as well. "To stay in business, we need to manage costs, improve efficiency and maintain a profit. We've been able to invest in creative new games like Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies because we had a high profit business. That business is challenged, and 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."

While the full post is worth reading in its entirety, it's also worth pointing out that this internal restructuring wasn't Electronic Arts' doing. "The decision to reorganize was 100 percent made by us, with no pressure from EA," writes Vechey. "If we didn’t have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse."

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