EA Exec Explains PopCap Layoffs

Hero in a half shell

It's not easy being green
Dec 30, 2009
Devoneaux said:
hooksashands said:
Bile bile bile
Corporate buyouts are actually fairly common in the corporate world regardless of industry.

As for cannibalizing studios left and right? Moot point, those studios were likely already on their last leg.
Origin Systems weren't in any financial difficulty, and had no intention of being bought out by any company.
Then EA set their sights on them. They wanted Origin's IPs so they sued them with unfair lawsuits and bullied them into financial difficulty, until Origin were going under and needed someone to buy out the company to continue functioning, which EA did. And that's not just gamer speculation or gossip, EA admitted it. They admitted they destroyed the company because they wanted to buy it.

Of the other companies that were merged, Westwood held a 6% share of the total gaming market the year it was bought. In comparison the (much much larger) EA only had an 11% share. That's pretty much the definition of successful.

Bioware and Pandemic certainly were not on their 'last legs' (they were owned by the same company) Heck, Bioware were RPG gamers golden child with runaway successes of KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. There were no reports of financial difficulties, no layoffs, no announcements of delayed games/problems with funding.
If you want to know the reason for the merger, you just need to know one thing: EA CEO John Riccitiello had just relinquished control as Managing Director for the firm that controlled the company in charge of both studios. Because of that he got a $5 million handshake as a bonus for the merger. That's $5 million personal income, with no company ties or restrictions.

Now this wasn't always the case, I'm sure there were companies that were in dire straits until EA bought them, but it shows that at least once, EA manipulated and forced a company to merge, in another, it was pure personal gain for EA's head honcho.

Stuff 'em.

Leroy Frederick

New member
Jan 27, 2009
The beginning of the end? Never understood why a company doing as well as Popcap felt the need accept a buyout (other than the payout of course), especially from EA!


New member
Dec 5, 2008
I don't know if anyone will see this, but I chatted with a friend who has associates in Popcap, and she basically said that George Fan's departure was EA's doing. Take friend-of-a-friend sourcing for what it's worth, of course, but from where I stand, EA continues to degenerate. And in the process, make choosing to avoid their works into less of a whim and more of a sacred calling.

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Andy Chalk said:
But Gibeau seemed to cast some doubt on that statement in an interview with Bloomberg, in which he implied that the decision was pretty much entirely EA's. "Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we go slow initially and really understand the culture of the company that's now joining Electronic Arts, and then what we do is we look for where there's opportunities to integrate the companies - and then we accelerate," he said.

Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we start screwing them slow, initially, and make sure the company is made to understand the culture of their new overlords, that being us, EA. And then what we do is we look to see who's expendable, who's problematic, who's going to cause a fuss over long hours, crappy working environments, being forced to work on endless sequels, etc... and then the screwing accelerates. We start riding that studio from behind like a seasoned cattle herder.
Yeah... not surprised to see the EA defenders amassing though. Strange, how with a history like theirs, they can still amass people to support them and give them the benefit of the doubt. If only EA had given Westwood, Pandemic, Bullfrog, Origin and others the benefit of the doubt.

Also, it's really creepy how EA will gut a studio, then carry on pumping out sequels to their games for years afterwards. I can't be the only one who felt an unearthly shudder when Red Alert 3 was announced. It's like the scene where Hannibal Lecter escaped custody by wearing a dead man's face...