EA closes PopCap Dublin

EA closes PopCap Dublin
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 24th 2012 at 12:20PM

96 developers affected as Ireland office shuts its doors

EA has closed PopCap’s Dublin studio.

A spokesperson for the casual games outfit confirmed to Develop that the Ireland branch has been shutdown after a number of the studio's employees took to Twitter to state the news.

As well as laying off 50 staff at its Seattle and Vancouver studios last month, PopCap had said the Dublin office's future was under consideration.

That consultation period has now ended, with 96 employees affected by the closure.

A spokesperson said that staff had been provided with outplacement support, and offered jobs in other areas at PopCap, EA and technology partners in Ireland.

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

Despite the closure, PopCap is still planning to continue hiring staff for its other operations.

PopCap opened its Dublin studio in 2006 as its European HQ, working on adapting existing IP to mobile and working on original titles.

The studio had expanded to almost 100 staff this year, with the developer afforded a high degree of independence from the Seattle office, which serves as the company's global HQ.

However the Ireland branch's future was put up in the air last month after EA said the studio was not generating sufficient profitability to remain sustainable.

The subsequent move to shut down the Dublin studio comes as somewhat of a surprise for a company that only last year cost EA $750m to acquire.