PopCap founder John Vechey explained the logic behind the company’s decision to ditch its most successful franchise, Zuma, and concentrate on its two "evergreen" franchises, Plants Vs Zombies and Bejeweled.
Speaking at the World Mobile Game Conference in Shanghai, Vechey explained that "Those franchises are going to be some of the biggest franchises in the games industry. But even then it's not without risk. When you try to create evergreen franchises you can actually screw it up."
"This is one of the most important things that we have to remember: hubris. Arrogance is the enemy of a long-lasting company," he added. "Arrogance is the enemy of a franchise. Just because we have Bejeweled or Plants Vs Zombies doesn't mean we can do a crappy job. We need to constantly ask ourselves, is this a good product? Is this a good investment?"
Vechey then explained that they were careful not to make Zuma’s success get into their heads and mask the fact that it doesn’t play well on touch-based tablets and mobiles.
"Zuma, in the first ten years of the history of the company, was one of the big franchises at Popcap," he admitted. "This was before Bejewelled and before PvZ. The thing is, the market changed and Zuma just doesn't feel great on a touch device. There's no way to make that feel perfect. So we as a company had to make a decision to say 'we're going to walk away from that even though it's done great for us'."
"Be honest about where a franchise is in its lifecycle. Be honest about if it's truly evergreen," concluded the PopCap CEO.