Another week, another large scale scale layoff following a studio that just released a major game. It seems like HD game development has just become “contract work in disguise” these days.
Several days after Eidos Montreal was hit with layoffs following the release of Thief, PopCap joins the ever growing list of major studios being subjected to massive loss of workforce following the release of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.
Anybody else noticing a pattern here? Launch a successful game, lose your job. This is the fourth major report of layoffs in two weeks following Eidos Montreal, SCE Santa Monica, and Irrational Games.
PopCap’s General Manager John Vechey confirmed the layoffs, but did not specify how many people or which divisions had been most affected.
“The changes we made today at PopCap were painful and we’re sorry to lose some of our friends and colleagues. But it was also necessary in order to stay on course with our future plans for mobile games, live services and new IP. PopCap is a studio that made its name building great games that the world can fall in love with, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
Shortly after the release of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, PopCap had been divided into two teams, one for console gaming and one for mobile gaming. An EA representative clarified that the console gaming team who made Garden Warfare, made up of 40 people, was left unaffected, making it a little more obvious what kind of plans EA has in mind with the future of this talented mobile developer.
I say it every time we get news of mass layoffs, but I’ll say it again. Best of luck to those who lost their jobs finding new employment. I know you love making video games, and you should pursue your dreams, but judging by the current state of a lot of successful studios, indie and smaller teams might be the most viable option now.