A rumor has been floating around for a while now, but really gained traction after Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen brought it up on a podcast. In sum, the rumor is that Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan was fired from EA after he opted not to play ball with Plants vs. Zombies 2 being a free-to-play, microtransaction fueled mobile game. But after a statement both from Fan and from the latter game’s producer, it seems like the real story is a bit more complicated.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has it all broken down. After the story spread like a wildfire, flames fanned by EA’s other microtransaction controversy (shout-out to Star Wars), Fan sent out a brief, somewhat vague statement via Twitter. He said that it’s true he was laid off from EA and it’s true he was against Plants vs. Zombies 2 going free-to-play, but that’s all he had to say on the matter. It's Schrodinger’s controversy, basically.
Then, Plants vs. Zombies 2 producer Allen Murray chimed in. He claimed that the rumor is totally unfounded, and laid out his own perspective on the matter. Murray claimed that Fan was never involved with the game, working on other projects at the time. He said what Fan worked on was never released, and he ended up an unfortunate part of the layoffs that hit PopCap in general in 2012 after the company made an overall shift to mobile gaming.
Schreier also offers accounts of his own from sources at PopCap, which gave similar information. Fan was against the mobile move, but was more of a part of a larger layoff than a single, political fire.