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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 office.

“To stay in business, we need to manage costs, improve efficiency and maintain a profit,” noted PopCap’s John Vechey in a blog post last month. “We’ve been able to invest in creative new games like Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies because we had a high profit business. That business is challenged, and if we don’t adapt, we won’t be able to invest in new IP. That sounds harsh – but if we don’t stay in business, no more plants, zombies, jewels, frogs or worms.

The layoffs come more than a year after Electronic Arts purchased PopCap for up to $1.3 billion. We’ve reached out to the company about the latest round of cuts, and we’ll update as we hear more.

Interestingly, the news comes a week after EA said that it planned to add 300 customer support jobs in Galway, Ireland, a facility it opened one year ago this month.

UPDATE: Here’s the full statement from PopCap:

*       The consultation period in Ireland has been completed, and after having consulted fully with the employee representatives the PopCap leadership team has decided to close our Dublin office.
*       96 people have been affected by the decision. PopCap has provided outplacement support and many employees have offers in other parts of PopCap, at EA or new opportunities with technology partners 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.
*       In Ireland, EA announced last week the addition of 300 jobs for its European Customer Experience Center in Galway, almost doubling the number of staff.  The Galway facility currently employs close to 400 people.
*       Worldwide, PopCap is still growing, and intends to continue hiring and developing current staff. We will continue to invest in new games, platforms, and markets while we expand the reach of hit franchises like Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies.

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