PopCap has announced that it has had to cut about 50 staff in a reorganisation of its studios.
PopCap co-founder John Vechey made the announcement on the company's official blog.
"We also never imagined the challenges that we would face with markets, platforms and customers. Most importantly, we never imagined the hard decisions we'd have to make," stated Vechey.
In a very sincere post Vechey went on to detail exactly what cuts are taking place and why they are happening.
"But this morning we informed our employees about a reorganization in our studios that will include a "Reduction In Force" in our North American operation – mostly in our headquarters here in Seattle – and an "exploratory consultation" to evaluate the future of our PopCap office in Dublin, Ireland.
"And now in English: "Reduction In Force" means that some people are losing their jobs. "Exploratory consultation" means we're talking to our Dublin team about the future of that office and whether we can find a path to improve our profitability in Europe without having to close the operation. Today's news is something you expect periodically from a company in a fast-changing industry, but it sucks if you're one of the people losing his or her job. These people are our friends and we don't like doing this."
Despite the cuts, Vechey stated that the firm is still growing and that the firm will end the year with roughly the same number of employees as it started with.
According to Vechey the reorganisation is partly down to the rapid growth of free-to-play games.
"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. That happened fast. Surprisingly so. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It's a completely different world from when we started."
And before EA haters start blaming the mega publisher for PopCap's cuts, Vechey made it very clear that EA has helped tremendously and that the layoffs would have been worse without them.
"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," stated Vechey. "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."
Vechey ended his post by pointing towards planned growth in the mobile and social markets, as well as expansion in Japan and China.
A Plants vs. Zombies sequel is due for release in 2013.