Top PopCap executives to retire as the studio aims to get back to “where we used to be”Written by: / / 1 Comment
Two top PopCap executives are due to exit the Seattle-based studio soon, as the company as a whole looks to become the best mobile game developer in the world while returning “to the place where we used to be.”
According to VentureBeat, PopCap CEO Dave Roberts and co-founder Jason Kapalka are both due to retire from the studio, with an official statement to this effect to go out on January 8th.
Roberts is a veteran of PopCap after having joined the studio in 2005, growing the developer by leaps and bounds while helping to navigate the tricky transition from paid casual games to free-to-play and microtransactions, and would have been a major proponent for PopCap’s acquisition by EA in 2011.
Kapalka, meanwhile, is one of three PopCap co-founders along with John Vechey (who will remain at the studio) and Brian Fiete (who has since departed the company), which was formed back in 2000. Kapalka will remain a creative consultant for the time being.
Vechey, who will become PopCap’s sole remaining co-founder, has tasked himself and the developer with a specific mission for the future, and speaking with VentureBeat, he says he aims to help PopCap become a mobile game leader while returning to the glory days of the studio:
“We need to get back to the place where we used to be and not just in mobile,” said Vechey. “PopCap’s mission right now is to create the greatest mobile game studio in the world, and we’re going to do that by only making games that are beloved by players. We’re focusing on our foundation in 2014 – talent, process, and most importantly, great products, around that mission.”
VentureBeat reports that while PopCap’s latest mobile title, Plants VS Zombies 2, has enjoyed a great deal of success as far as downloads go, the game hasn’t been able to generate the kinds of revenue EA would have been aiming for as a result of microtransactions built into the game. In the future, Vechey hopes to incorporate monetisation design into the early stages of a game’s creation to ensure that the business side of the games PopCap produces are implemented naturally and are fun to engage with.
While PopCap may be known for popular games like Bejeweled, Peggle, Zuma, Plants VS Zombies and older games like Bookworm, Heavy Weapon and even Chuzzle, the studio’s output over the last few years has dwindled, especially since being acquired by EA, with only Plants VS Zombies: Garden Warfare on the horizon in 2014.
Which have been your favourite PopCap games over the years? Would you like to see sequels to these games or should the studio focus on creating the kinds of new intellectual property that it was known for?