The horde of developers responsible for Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled has grown a little thinner. EA-owned PopCap Games confirmed this morning that it is laying off 50 employees from its Seattle headquarters and re-evaluating its need for a satellite office in Dublin.
PopCap offered an explanation for the move via its official blog. According to co-founder John Vechey, the downscaling has nothing to do with publishing giant Electronic Arts, which purchased the blossoming studio in 2011 for a cool $750M plus bonuses.
“The decision to reorganize was 100 percent made by us, with no pressure from EA,” said Vechey. “If we didn’t have EA behind us, the cuts would have been worse.”
After dousing the inevitable flames of EA-related suspicion, Vechey commented that the cuts are largely a result of a chaotically evolving industry — one that recently has been shifting from paid games to free-to-play development models.
PopCap just announced that Plants vs. Zombies 2 would amble onto all manner of devices sometime next spring. With luck, most gamers are more focused on PopCap’s upcoming releases than today’s dour business news.