Electronic Arts’ PopCap Games, who’s known for making games like Bejeweled on Facebook has fired about 10 percent of its staff. This is in preparation for the consumer shift towards mobile and free to play games.
PopCap Games slashing consisted of 50 spots in North America and is also considering shutting down its Dublin studio in Ireland, if it is unable to improve profitability, which co-founder John Vechey said in a blog post to nearly 500 employees. Vechey wrote,
“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.”
PopCap was acquired for $750 million last year by Electronic Arts to compete with Zynga Inc., the biggest producer of games for Facebook. Since the acquisition, mobile platforms and free to play sites have gained momentum in popularity with casual game players.
Zynga is dealing with similar issues as the company announced the departure of Chief Operating Officer John Schappert on August 8th, after he was stripped of some responsibilities in a attempt aimed at reviving growth and bringing in more profit from mobile services.
Popcap expects to end the year with the same amount of employees as it started off this year with, after it “hired aggressively this past year,” Vechey said according to his blog.