GamesBeat

EA closes PopCap Dublin; 96 jobs lost

Plants vs. Zombies screenshot

Electronic Arts is closing the international arm of developer PopCap.

The Dublin, Ireland-based wing of the studio, which focused on mobile development and porting existing software, has been under scrutiny since August. PopCap co-founder John Vechey announced at that time a plan to evaluate the developer’s potential profitability. It seems that potential doesn’t exist.

“The consultation period in Ireland has been complete,” read a PopCap statement provided to GamesBeat by PopCap director of public relations Garth Chouteau. “After having consulted fully with the employee representatives, the PopCap leadership team has decided to close our Dublin office.”

According to the statement, the closure affects 96 employees. As part of the shuttering process, some now have offers to join other parts of PopCap, EA, or different companies in Ireland.

“Europe remains a critical market for PopCap, and we will continue to grow our presence through centralized services operated from our North American offices and through the extensive European EA network,” the statement read.

This news comes on the heels of EA announcing an expansion of its Galway, Ireland-based European Customer Experience Center. With the help of the Irish government’s Industrial Development Authority, the publisher added 300 jobs to that tech-support outpost.

PopCap claims it is still growing worldwide despite recently firing 50 North American employees in August.

The small developer exploded in popularity with its addictive Peggle, Bejeweled, and Plants vs. Zombie games. In July 2011, EA bought the company for $750 million. PopCap is now looking to transition its stable of casual games into a market that is much more focused on free-to-play titles than when the developer first found success.


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