Posted By Shaun K. about 2 months, 1 week ago
It is the end of an era for the popular developer and publisher PopCap Games as today it was announced that longtime CEO Dave Roberts will be stepping down after nine years in the position. It is a tenure that has seen PopCap release some of the best selling PC games of the last decade including Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies and the company’s eventual acquisition by EA Games. More recently however PopCap has seen a general slow down in the number of titles produced and a new focus on free-to-play and the mobile market via such high-profile projects as Plants vs. Zombies 2. The latter in particular has received a very mixed response from gamers for what many perceive is an over-exploitation of the free-to-play model.
With Roberts retiring the man who been picked to replace him is PopCap co-founder John Vechey who, according to a report from VentureBeat, will succeed Roberts on January 8. Vechey, who gamers should remember from last year’s EA E3 press conference where he infamously announced Peggle 2 while hopping excitedly up and down on stage, has stated plans for PopCap that will likely please longtime fans of the company. According to Vechey “We (PopCap) need to get back to the place where we used to be and not just in mobile. We have also under-invested in new IP. Getting more new IP out per year is the goal. We want to formalize the creative process and get it to scale better.”
Vechey unsurprisingly also had glowing remarks for the departing Roberts, stating that “We wish Dave all the best. When Dave joined PopCap, we needed a business leader to help us bring structure to our creative chaos and set us on a sustainable path. He has made a huge mark on PopCap, and we thank deeply him for it as he embraces his new adventure. I continue to be the most passionate believer in PopCap, and I’m excited and honored about taking over as PopCap.” It is worth noting that when Vechey takes over the reigns of PopCap he will also become the last original founder of the company remaining as Jason Kapalka of Bejeweled fame and more will also be departing as a full-time employee. Kapalka will however remain a creative consultant for the company.
Going into 2014 PopCap is poised to launch perhaps their most ambitious project yet with the release of their multiplayer-focused third-person shooter Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. It remains to be seen if the continued woes being experienced by the also EA-published Battlefield 4 will have any impact on the sales of Garden Warfare but I would imagine there must be at least a few nervous individuals at PopCap right about now. Let us know what you think of the changeover at PopCap in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to Blistered Thumbs for continuing coverage of this and other gaming news from around the world.