According to a Bloomberg interview with EA president of labels, Frank Gibeau, said the PopCap layoffs were part EA’s process of efficiency. The interview covered various topics which include the console generation shift. During the interview, when asked about the PopCap layoffs, Gibeau replied:
Typically, at EA what we do is, when we acquire a company we make sure that we go slow initially, and really understand the culture at the company that is now joining Electronic Arts. What we do is we look for where there’s opportunities to integrate the companies, and then we acclerate. With PopCap, what we found is that there are some areas inside PopCap that were duplicate to what EA was doing, a lot of central resources, legal, business affairs, those types of things; so we accelerated the integration there. We also looked at pivoting a little bit harder towards mobile and away from social, so we made some adjustments in the speed plan there. PopCap is a fantastic company: Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, incredible IP that is unique and new to Electronic Arts, and we’re really excited about it. We’re just accelerating the integration.
In a recent blog, co founder of PopCap John Vechey optimistically addressed the recent layoffs and EA saying:
One year ago, we decided to integrate PopCap with EA. I know I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else right now. 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 percent 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.
What’s next? Part of making changes is to stay healthy and viable. Good companies don’t wait to change until it’s too late. We’re growing quickly into new areas of mobile and social, and are expanding in new markets like Japan and China. And there are many more great games to come from PopCap.
While today’s news is distressing in some ways, especially to those of us who’ve been with PopCap from the beginning, we’re sincerely excited about the company’s future prospects and committed to continuing to lovingly craft the very best and most broadly appealing video games in the world.
Hopefully EA & PopCap can rebound from this tough streak and keep putting out the games we know and love.
Via »Gaming Bus