George Fan, creator of “Plants vs. Zombies” (PvZ) have spoken up about the real reason he was terminated from PopCap Games under Electronic Arts (EA).
His tweet implied that he was indeed against making PvZ2 a “freemium” game, but he did not however say any further details if his opinion has something to do with him being laid off in 2012.
Making PvZ2 a freemium game would mean that the game itself can be downloaded and installed for free, but will now have microtransactions where players may acquire in-game items using real world money to enhance play.
Regarding recent rumors, it is true I was laid off by EA/PopCap, and also true that I was against making PvZ2 a freemium game. That's all I'll say on the matter for now
— George Fan (@thegeorgefan) November 21, 2017
Commonly referred to as “pay-to-win”, this model features some items which could provide certain “unfair” advantages when used against other players. There are, however, some games which offer microtransactions for simple cosmetic items like character skins.
Two former high-level PopCap Games employees said that the PvZ creator had been laid off along with 50 other staff members as part of a well thought out company decision; noting also that Fan had not been working on PvZ2 at the time. It is said that Fan decided out of developing PvZ further when EA began to see its potential as a big game franchise.
Allen Murray, former PopCap employee and lead producer for PvZ2 also confirmed that Fan had not been involved with the creation of PvZ2.
The report explained that the big lay-off was a result of PopCap Games closing their San Mateo, California office, after EA bought the company in the summer of 2011. The former PopCap simply did not match with the more corporate atmosphere of EA.
It now exists within the EA corporate umbrella as PopCap Studios.