Posted by patrickklepek (3517 posts) -

UPDATE 2: PopCap has also confirmed layoff reports in a lengthy, surprisingly classy post from co-founder John Vechey.

"Today’s news is something you expect periodically from a company in a fast-changing industry, but it sucks if you’re one of the people losing his or her job," said Vechey. "These people are our friends and we don’t like doing this."

Make sure to read the whole post over here.

--

UPDATE: Funcom has also acknowledged layoffs, though it won't confirm various reports the changes have impacted more than 50% of the company worldwide.

"As we announced in the stock notice that went out on August 10th," said the company in a statement, "Funcom is in a process of reducing operational costs and this process includes temporary layoffs as well as other initiatives. As we are currently in the middle of this process we can not provide any further comment at the present time. Rest assured however that we have long-term plans for the company and that we remain fully committed to all of our games."

Here's how Funcom phrased this in its stock notice from August 10:

"Funcom is currently implementing several cost-adjustment initiatives due to the expected lower initial revenues from The Secret World to secure future positive cash flows."

--

It’s a sobering morning for the video game industry, as news reports indicate longstanding publication Nintendo Power is closing, and layoffs have hit fan-favorite PopCap Games.

Ars Technica initially reported on Nintendo Power’s demise, which was later confirmed by some of its writers on Twitter.

“Well, that got out,” said writer Phil Theobald on Twitter.

“For what it's worth,” he told me in response, “we have something pretty sweet planned for the final issue.”

The officially-sanctioned Nintendo publication, today distributed by Future Publishing, has been running since 1988.

Elsewhere, there's word of layoffs at PopCap Games. 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard claimed on Twitter that roughly 50 employees were laid off at PopCap’s Seattle studio, and PopCap Dublin and Shangai have been either shut down or "shrunk."

The company recently announced a sequel to the incredibly popular Plants vs. Zombies is coming next spring. PopCap was purchased by Electronic Arts in June 2011 for its success in mobile and social.

PopCap has so far not responded to my requests for comment, but I heard about impending layoffs from multiple sources this morning. I’ve been unable to nail down specific details. Stay tuned.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (3517 posts) -

UPDATE 2: PopCap has also confirmed layoff reports in a lengthy, surprisingly classy post from co-founder John Vechey.

"Today’s news is something you expect periodically from a company in a fast-changing industry, but it sucks if you’re one of the people losing his or her job," said Vechey. "These people are our friends and we don’t like doing this."

Make sure to read the whole post over here.

--

UPDATE: Funcom has also acknowledged layoffs, though it won't confirm various reports the changes have impacted more than 50% of the company worldwide.

"As we announced in the stock notice that went out on August 10th," said the company in a statement, "Funcom is in a process of reducing operational costs and this process includes temporary layoffs as well as other initiatives. As we are currently in the middle of this process we can not provide any further comment at the present time. Rest assured however that we have long-term plans for the company and that we remain fully committed to all of our games."

Here's how Funcom phrased this in its stock notice from August 10:

"Funcom is currently implementing several cost-adjustment initiatives due to the expected lower initial revenues from The Secret World to secure future positive cash flows."

--

It’s a sobering morning for the video game industry, as news reports indicate longstanding publication Nintendo Power is closing, and layoffs have hit fan-favorite PopCap Games.

Ars Technica initially reported on Nintendo Power’s demise, which was later confirmed by some of its writers on Twitter.

“Well, that got out,” said writer Phil Theobald on Twitter.

“For what it's worth,” he told me in response, “we have something pretty sweet planned for the final issue.”

The officially-sanctioned Nintendo publication, today distributed by Future Publishing, has been running since 1988.

Elsewhere, there's word of layoffs at PopCap Games. 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard claimed on Twitter that roughly 50 employees were laid off at PopCap’s Seattle studio, and PopCap Dublin and Shangai have been either shut down or "shrunk."

The company recently announced a sequel to the incredibly popular Plants vs. Zombies is coming next spring. PopCap was purchased by Electronic Arts in June 2011 for its success in mobile and social.

PopCap has so far not responded to my requests for comment, but I heard about impending layoffs from multiple sources this morning. I’ve been unable to nail down specific details. Stay tuned.

Staff
#2 Posted by BannerThief (13 posts) -

What the hell is happening with social games companies?

#3 Posted by Amukasa (53 posts) -

Nintendo Power has still been going for all these years? WTF.

#4 Posted by Fireburst (24 posts) -

I had a Nintendo Power sub for years. Sad to see them go. I loved the free codes, used the Animal Crossing ones back in the day.

#5 Posted by iAmJohn (6110 posts) -

Okay seriously, what the fuck does George Broussard even do anymore? It seems like his job ever since 3D Realms closed down has been breaking studio closures and downsizings on Twitter.

#6 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

Really weird hearing this about Popcap, I thought they were basically printing money with all those popular franchises.

#7 Posted by The_Nubster (2054 posts) -

PopCap games, really? I don't much like casual and social games, but Bejeweled and PvZ are fun like a motherfucker. I really hope this isn't EA clamping down on them and trying to get them to produce the same great content with less staff.

#8 Posted by BlackLagoon (1385 posts) -

There are also rumblings on NeoGAF about massive (50-60%) layoffs at Funcom... :(

#9 Posted by iAmJohn (6110 posts) -

@BlackLagoon said:

There are also rumblings on NeoGAF about massive (50-60%) layoffs at Funcom... :(

Oh fuck. Secret World must not have gone well, huh? :(

#10 Posted by ajamafalous (11871 posts) -

Huh, Nintendo Power? Really? That's a shame I guess.

#11 Posted by Undeadpool (4913 posts) -

Fuuuuuuuuuuck...who else is old enough to remember when Nintendo Power had comics in it? Legend of Zelda, Mario, Star Fox, Metroid...this IS a bummer news day.

@BannerThief said:

What the hell is happening with social games companies?

Will Smith said it perfectly on the Bombcast: It was always a bubble.

#12 Posted by Protonguy (305 posts) -

@BannerThief said:

What the hell is happening with social games companies?

The casual market is now saturated. The value of companies is being reassessed.

#13 Posted by Antipunk217 (82 posts) -

I am going to be "that guy." Sucks to be owned by a big corporation that cares more about the bottom line than keeping people employed. I feel like Double Fine would have been shuttered after the cancellation of Brutal Legend 2, had they been owned by a publisher, but here they are. They carved our a great niche for themselves and are paying the bills.

#14 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

Weird about PopCap. Here's hoping it's only the social games staff, the full-release Bejeweled and PvZ staff are fantastic at what they do.

Honestly, while I love the legacy Nintendo Power once had, if I knew someone who was devoted to Nintendo Power as a grown adult, I would immediately mistrust them in all things games.

#15 Posted by heatDrive88 (2276 posts) -

This makes me a little sad. I still have the first few years of Nintendo Power when it was first released alongside the NES in North America sitting in a musty box somewhere.

#16 Posted by WJist (313 posts) -

Nintendo Power...that takes me back. Some of my fondest memories of childhood were taking poorly shot photos of high scores in hopes that I would win the monthly contest of a mountain of video games :/

#17 Posted by Patman99 (1559 posts) -

RIP, sweet prince. Thanks to you, I will always be playing with Power.

#18 Posted by fusrodah (95 posts) -

RIP Nintendo Power, my first and favorite magazine

#19 Posted by fishmicmuffin (1041 posts) -

Nintendo Power was a big part of my childhood, it's sad to see it go.

#20 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

i think pop cap didnt really need that many studios in the first place if they were just making social games i still fell bad for the people laid off

#21 Posted by ShatterShock (70 posts) -

The internet age doesn't need dead tree magazines, and the end of Nintendo Power is no loss to anybody but the nostalgic.

#22 Posted by RE_Player1 (7551 posts) -

Is Jeff Green safe?

#23 Posted by laserbolts (5314 posts) -

Damn that is some awful news. Nintendo power was awesome back in the day.

#24 Posted by bingbangboom (101 posts) -

I bet Popcap had some cancelled games or something. Something that they were working on that went unannounced but canned. :/

#25 Posted by thesage (52 posts) -

@msavo: Yeah Jeff Green is safe, he tweeted that he still has his job.

#26 Posted by HeghmohQib (183 posts) -

My brother subscribed to it when it first came out. We use to have something like the first 50 issues sitting in boxes @ my parents place. Can't find them now. Anyone know any legitimate way of getting virtual copies of them?

#27 Posted by Lokno (385 posts) -

@msavo: Yes, he said as much on twitter.

#28 Posted by WilliamHenry (1201 posts) -

@ShatterShock said:

The internet age doesn't need dead tree magazines, and the end of Nintendo Power is no loss to anybody but the nostalgic.

And the people who lost their jobs right?

#29 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Nintendo Power is probably as responsible for who I am today as The Hotspot is. I'm sad to see these parts of my personal history die off.

#30 Posted by Sword5 (150 posts) -

Jeff Green said he still has a job. I wouldn't worry about a public figure like him.

Too bad about the other people. Maybe they will spin off and create a new fun phone game or something.

#31 Posted by mosespippy (4051 posts) -

The worst part is that it sounds like Nintendo Power would have been just fine if Nintendo would just let them make a digital version. Their refusal to adapt to the business models of modern technology will be their downfall.

#32 Posted by big_jon (5710 posts) -

So wait, Popcap just reveals PvZ 2, and lay-offs all ready, good job EA.

#33 Posted by Phished0ne (2486 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

i think pop cap didnt really need that many studios in the first place if they were just making social games i still fell bad for the people laid off

In all fairness, its hard for a studio that develops those kinds of games to break into the bigger picture without more people. Sure you can make Plants vs Zombies 2, or Bejeweled 33 with a few smallish studios, but if they were trying to make something a bit bigger it would be a tough row to hoe. Who knows what Popcap had in mind before this went down.

#34 Posted by SmokePants (267 posts) -

The NES years of Nintendo Power were really the only ones that I remember. My subscription continued into the SNES era, but I just don't recall them as well. Probably because I had discovered EGM.

Imagining a modern Nintendo Power, produced by a third party, covering Wii and 3DS makes me want to dry heave. It's a shame that jobs were lost, but it sounds like a mercy killing to me. The Nintendo Power zombie has finally been decapitated and it can rest in peace.

#35 Posted by Fauwf (10 posts) -

@HeghmohQib said:

My brother subscribed to it when it first came out. We use to have something like the first 50 issues sitting in boxes @ my parents place. Can't find them now. Anyone know any legitimate way of getting virtual copies of them?

There are ways (Retromags) but nothing legal.

#36 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Man that sucks. I stopped getting nintendo Power around the time that Red Steel 2 was a cover. I have some sentimental feeling for it even though i haven't subscribed for some time.

#37 Posted by fisk0 (3879 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

The worst part is that it sounds like Nintendo Power would have been just fine if Nintendo would just let them make a digital version. Their refusal to adapt to the business models of modern technology will be their downfall.

Have Nintendo actually had anything to do with it since 2007? Never having read or really kept up with Nintendo Power I have no idea, but looked like Future Publishing took over in 2007, in that case I don't think Nintendo are to blame.

#38 Posted by TurboMan (7427 posts) -

How does a company like PopCap have layoffs? They print money over there.

I remember reading every edition of Nintendo Power when I was a kid, sad to see it go.

Online
#39 Edited by bigsmoke77 (788 posts) -

@BannerThief: The bubble has burst.

#40 Posted by Nadafinga (957 posts) -

If you would have asked me a day ago, "Do you think Nintendo Power is still going?" I would have said "Probably not." So, I guess I'm impressed they lasted this long.

#41 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

Oh shit. I may no longer be on board with Nintendo but seeing that magazine go hurts. Reminds me of better times. 

#42 Posted by TehJedicake (879 posts) -

Every time I hear of Nintendo Power I just get reminded of the AVGN episode all about it.

#43 Posted by LAR (42 posts) -

@HeghmohQib said:

My brother subscribed to it when it first came out. We use to have something like the first 50 issues sitting in boxes @ my parents place. Can't find them now. Anyone know any legitimate way of getting virtual copies of them?

That sucks. This article made me want to look at them.

#44 Posted by BaconGames (3315 posts) -

Wait, Nintendo Power still ran? Weird. Am I the only one who thought the official magazines of consoles was always a busted deal? Even if their staff were pretty good at times, I still don't find anything of worth in them. Obviously back in the day Nintendo Power had its use but with the internet, the role it had was completely usurped.

Obviously I'm going to wait until more reports and confirmations come in but if Jeff Green is any indication, there are in fact layoffs going on. Damn shame too because with titles like Peggle, Bejeweled, and PvZ, I always thought higher of them than any other "casual" game developer. And here I was thinking PopCap was going strong but I guess not :(

#45 Edited by Baal_Sagoth (1237 posts) -

@msavo said:

Is Jeff Green safe?

Edit: @Sword5 @Lokno @thesage: Ah, ok he is very much still employed. It may sound cold - because it probably is - but that is the fact I personally most cared about concerning this story. The rest is still bad news, but every sad story is. And most of them don't even get reported anywhere. Even if they're usually much, much worse than a somewhat trivial thing like unemployment (in the grand scheme of things).

#46 Edited by MikkaQ (10270 posts) -

Oh shit. I know magazines are on the way out, but this one just felt like it was untouchable. It's fucking Nintendo Power, you can't just shutter it. Well apparently you can.

I haven't bought one in years but I'll grab the final copy.

This magazine and NOM (the UK version, essentially) were my childhood magazines of choice.

#47 Posted by ShatterShock (70 posts) -

@WilliamHenry said:

@ShatterShock said:

The internet age doesn't need dead tree magazines, and the end of Nintendo Power is no loss to anybody but the nostalgic.

And the people who lost their jobs right?

Such is the nature of the beast. I'm sure that the people who were good at their job will be able to find positions elsewhere.

#48 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1397 posts) -

I always felt like casual game companies like PopCap would hit a wall one day, but these stories are sprouting faster than I thought. Maybe a huge crash is coming around the corner...

#49 Posted by Brodehouse (9650 posts) -

I'm beginning to find layoff news to be useless. Because there's never hiring news. If we went by layoff news, every person in this industry is out of work.

The only positive news I've ever seen posted on this level is excitement over the Minerva's Den people forming a studio. Otherwise it's non-stop negativity. I'm not even blaming our news guys for it, it just seems like its a big oversight.

#50 Posted by Stubee (376 posts) -

I had never heard of Nintendo Power beyond the Bombcast. Is it a US only publication?