PopCap CEO Set To Retire, Hand Reins To Co-Founder

Dave Roberts, CEO and co-founder of PopCap Games, has decided to leave the studio and hand the reins over to another co-founder, John Vechey.  Roberts isn’t the only founding member leaving, as the third co-founder, Jason Kapalka, is also leaving the company, but will remain available as a creative consultant.

PopCap has quietly become a major force in the games industry, particularly on mobile devices, with hits like Plants vs. Zombies, Bejewled, Peggle and the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare.  Development on that titles is scheduled to proceed as normal despite the departure.

In addition, Vechey told GamesBeat that he plans to expand PopCap’S development plans, and “get back to the place where we used to be and not just in mobile.”  He went on to say that “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.”

This is exciting news for the company, which under EA’s direction has slanted towards publishing and monetized free-to-play models.  I think it is great that Vechey wants to get things going in a different direction, and he seems to have the skills and enthusiasm needed to right the ship.