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Interview: PopCap’s John Vechey says mistakes were made, but selling to EA wasn’t one

Since PopCap was acquired by Electronic Arts nearly three years ago, the Seattle-based game maker has had its fair share of troubles: Layoffs, game cancellations, studio closures and executive departures. But PopCap’s co-founder John Vechey, who was named as the executive in charge of PopCap in January, said he can’t blame the problems on Electronic… Read More

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Steam, Origin and others taken down in latest attacks against gaming services

Valve’s Steam platform, Activision Blizzard’s Battle.net and EA’s Origin storefront were all brought down last night by Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks — as an ongoing campaign by digital miscreants started earlier this week continued, leaving players and developers in the lurch. We've directed the Gaben Laser Beam™ @ the EA login servers. Origin #offline — DERP… Read More

PopCap CEO Dave Roberts

PopCap CEO Dave Roberts retiring, co-founder John Vechey taking over

PopCap CEO Dave Roberts will be retiring after eight years at the Seattle-based game studio, the Electronic Arts unit  known for such hits as Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. PopCap co-founder John Vechey will be taking over leadership of PopCap. The change, effective next week, was reported today by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi. PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka is also… Read More

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The zombies are coming…again: Plants vs. Zombies 2 lurches onto iOS today

If you’ve been itching for a new plant-based home defense game, Seattle’s PopCap Games has you covered. PopCap, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2011, released “Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time,” the next installment in the company’s popular “Plants vs. Zombies” franchise for iOS today. Unlike its predecessor, “PvZ 2″ will be… Read More

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EA cuts staff, shuts down PopCap Vancouver office

Electronic Arts slashed jobs at its Los Angeles and Montreal offices earlier this year, and next up on the chopping block appears to be Vancouver’s PopCap hub. EA, which owns Seattle-based PopCap, confirmed on Thursday that it was cutting its workforce, with several outlets reporting as much as 10 percent of employees laid off. The company wouldn’t specify which… Read More

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EA pulls plug on some Facebook games, doubles down on PopCap

Electronic Arts today announced that it is retiring three of its popular Facebook games, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society. The online gaming news site Gamasutra calls the move a surprise, but notes that some developers are making a bigger push into mobile games versus browser-based games. “After millions of people initially logged in to… Read More

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EA CEO John Riccitiello to resign as game maker seeks new leader amid weak results

Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello announced today that he’s stepping down from the game maker effective March 30. The company, which owns Seattle-based PopCap Games, also warned that its revenues and earnings per share for the fourth quarter ”will be at the low end of, or slightly below previously issued guidance.” Riccitiello is the co-founder Elevation Partners, a… Read More

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PopCap pulls plug on Dublin office, cutting 96 jobs

PopCap Games is cutting back even further, announcing today that it closed its offices in Dublin, Ireland. Ninety-six employees are losing their jobs as a result of the closure, which should not come as a surprise. At the time of last month’s announcement, the maker of Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled said it was considering shutting down the Ireland… Read More

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The Sims vs. The Ville, EA files suit against Zynga

Electronic Arts‘ has apparently had enough of its too-close-for-comfort neighbors The Ville. The gaming giant has filed suit against Zynga, accusing the game maker of essentially ripping off their popular game The Sims Social. The copyright infringement case was filed in a San Francisco federal court today, calling The Ville an “unmistakable copy” of The… Read More

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Is Zynga’s culture really rotten at the core? Hear how Mark Pincus described the mission in April

The New York Times published an unflattering story this past weekend about the hard-charging culture of game maker Zynga, noting how the maker of FarmVille and Mafia Wars operates like a metrics-driven New York investment bank. Interestingly, Seattle’s PopCap Games, which turned down a buyout offer from Zynga in favor of a deal from Electronic… Read More

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List: How EA’s buyout of PopCap ranks

Electronic Arts’ buyout of PopCap Games is a whopper by most standards. But just how big is it in relation to other M&A deals in the Seattle area? I wanted to put the acquisition — valued at $750 million in upfront payments and up to $1.3 billion over time —  in some deeper perspective. So… Read More