Despite major additions to Plants Vs Zombies, Peggle, and more top casual franchises in 2013 and 2014, Popcap Games CEO Dave Roberts and Chief Game Designer Jason Kapalka have decided to the leave the studio as it stands with Electronic Arts, despite each having a major hand in Popcap since its founding.
While Roberts was brought on after some explosive growth, Kapalka helped found the studio and will be retained as a creative consultant. This news follows the departure of two co-founders at Criterion Games responsible for Need For Speed as of late. Popcap's final remaining cofounder, John Vechey will take over as the new CEO.
While successful launches of Plants Vs. Zombies 2 and Peggle 2 have given the company a shot in the arm, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is still awaiting release in February. That game looks and plays fantastic, but it's also not entirely developed under Popcap, with EA Canada taking the lion's share of development responsibility.
Vechey said in an interview with VentureBeat that the studio aims to "get back to the place where we used to be and not just in mobile," adding that he doesn't want to make "premium games with a little monetization on the side."
The Criterion and Popcap restructuring news follows a turbulent 2013 for Electronic Arts who also found a new CEO, Andrew Wilson. With our Peggle 2 review praising the game despite Xbox One exclusivity, let's hope Vechey's first move is getting it out to other, more popular platforms.
We'll have more on Popcap and Electronic Arts throughout 2014, so keep it locked to GameRevolution for more. Let us know how you think this restructuring might change Popcap's games in the comments.