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PopCap hit with unspecified number of layoffs

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Plants vs. Zombies studio PopCap Games laid off an unspecified number of employees today, the studio confirmed in a statement to Polygon.

"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," said John Vechey, PopCap's general manager.

Shortly after the release of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare last month, a PopCap official said the studio had been split into two teams: one for mobile games, and one for console and PC titles.

When asked for details regarding the scope of the layoffs, a representative for Electronic Arts, PopCap's parent company, told Polygon, "We don't disclose numbers." The spokesperson clarified that PopCap HD — the Garden Warfare team, which consisted of about 40 people during the game's development — was unaffected by the cuts, and said there are "no changes to announce with regard to PopCap titles."

Vechey, who is a co-founder of PopCap, took the top position at the studio as general manager earlier this year, after CEO Dave Roberts retired. Other recent games from PopCap, which was acquired by EA in 2011, include Peggle 2 in December. In April 2013, EA closed the Vancouver, Canada, branch of PopCap.