PopCap Hit with Layoffs

Just a day after announcing the sequel to their popular game, Plants vs. Zombies, PopCap Games appears to have been hit hard by layoffs. Although neither EA, who bought the studio a year ago, nor PopCap have issued a statement yet, employees of PopCap have confirmed the layoffs on Twitter.

Industry insider George Broussard has also confirmed the layoffs via the following tweet,

“PopCap Dublin/Shanghai shut down/shrunk. 50ish people in Seattle laid off. Brutal.”

He then inserts a link to an article published a year ago about EA buying PopCap Games. More information about whether or not other PopCap branches were affected is unavailable at this time. We’ll update when we hear more.

It’s troubling to hear about layoffs considering that Plants vs. Zombies 2 is on the way now. Will these layoffs affect the game’s development? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Update: A note about the layoffs from John Vechey, PopCap co-founder:

“We’ve made hard decisions before, even had cuts before – at this time in North America there are about 50 people who will no longer work at PopCap. We’ve hired aggressively this past year and PopCap is still growing. Even with the cuts we expect to end the year with roughly the same number of people we started with.”

Update 2: Gamasutra has followed up on rumors that Plants vs. Zombies creator, George Fan, was also let go in the layoffs. According to Gamasutra, the site has received two conflicting statements from the same representative: the first confirming that George Fan had been let go; the second stating that the company “cannot at this time confirm that George Fan was part of the layoffs.” If he was indeed laid off, it seems that he might end up pursuing the indie scene, so don’t expect this to be the last of George Fan.

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