Guess you have no idea what Popcap's doing. It's a restructuring meant to switch focus from paid games to free2play, where the real money is. Those layoffs were done by Popcap themselves as they've made sense in that context.
EA is years away the competition in Free2Play which is the future on both mobile and pc/consoles. This is the new paradigm shift in the gaming sector.
Free to play is not the only future. Yes it's a future for multiplayer games yes. But for single player games? How are they going to make a mass effect free to play? They won't. There will always be a market for good single player games. The death of standard video games seems to happen every 20 years or so. It's just wrong. FADS are free-to-play, social gaming, and gimic gaming (WII)
Not sure it applies only to multiplayer. Let's take Popcap's PlantsVsZombies which was single player paid game. PlantsVsZombies2 might be some kinda' free2Play model. A free2play version is actually easy to imagine. There'll be an item shop where players could purchase bonus traps, not included in the default trap set for example. Mass Effect free to play version? Imagine you can play whole game without half the characters, no bonus areas, fewer weapons and so on. That or some kinda` ad based model, where main characters drink galactic coke, wear Adidas jumpsuits and find old poster of Lady Gaga in abandoned ancient city.
Here is what PopCap had to say about the layoffs and free to play:
"Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. That happened fast. Surprisingly so. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It’s a completely different world from when we started. [...] We’ve been able to invest in creative new games like Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies because we had a high profit business. That business is challenged, and if we don’t adapt, we won’t be able to invest in new IP."
...also about those layoffs someone mentioned earlier:
"Vechey also points out that even after the cutbacks, PopCap will end the year with roughly the same number of employees it started the year with."