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EA Phenomic closed

EA Phenomic closed

Fri 12 Jul 2013 2:05pm GMT / 10:05am EDT / 7:05am PDT
PublishingDevelopment

60-strong German RTS studio is shuttered

Electronic Arts has closed EA Phenomic, the 60-person strategy developer behind Spellforce and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances.

The situation at Phenomic was brought to the attention of GamesIndustry International by a number of sources with knowledge of the studio and its employees. EA would not comment on the specifics of Phenomic's position, but offered the following statement regarding the ongoing internal restructuring in the company as a whole:

"As part of EA's realignment in recent weeks, we have announced internally a small adjustment to some development staff to better focus our teams against priority growth areas. The decision to let people go is not something we take lightly and we are working to ensure that impacted employees are treated fairly and with respect for their contributions to EA, and with assistance to find other job opportunities.

"These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us"

The EA representative also told us that the company has no plans to move away from free-to-play or strategy games.

EA Phenomic is based in Ingelheim am Rhein, near to Frankfurt, Germany. At its peak, the studio employed 60 people.

The company was established as "Phenomic Game Development" in 1997 by Volker Wertich, who had been instrumental in the development The Settlers while at Blue Byte Software. Phenomic then established the Spellforce franchise, before being acquired by Electronic Arts in August, 2006, and renamed "EA Phenomic".

The studio worked primarily on real-time strategy games, including BattleForge in 2009, Lord of Ultima in 2010, and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances last year. The latter was a free-to-play browser version of the classic series that entertained 1 million players in its first two months.

11 Comments

James Ingrams
Writer

208 72 0.3
Of course EA closed them A) they do PC games, and B) they don't do FPS's.. Another sign blandness and streamlining will continue, to the detriment of the games industry and even the killer of it as we know it.

Posted:9 months ago

#1
I believe RTS and turn based strategy games have a very deep rewarding gameplay. Commiserations to all involved.

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Ruud Van De Moosdijk
VP of Development

40 45 1.1
Popular Comment
EA is the company that owned the godfathers of the modern RTS genre and closed them down. There is something about a company that sees acquisitions as "property" and not "responsibility" that I just don't like. Maybe someone should buy EA a puppy to teach them what it means to take care off living things you own.

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Varun Tyagi
AI Programmer

7 7 1.0
That explains why they didn't returned back to me regarding the programmers test I gave.

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Benedict Ng-Wai
Studying Game Developer

4 1 0.3
Large companies like EA and Activision are only looking for big hits to make money, they've lost the site of gaming and the expresion in the art, ideas and interaction of the game, buying up small companies willing to experiement on a new gaming idea. This trend will continue to happen until small successful company stop large companies from buying them out and maybe someone will be strong enough to buy out EA and shut them down

Posted:9 months ago

#5

James Ingrams
Writer

208 72 0.3
Let's hope they go independent. Other small companies have shown there are lots of new subjects to cover in the RPG genre. with games like Mars War Logs, a Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk RPG, Explorers: Conquistadors, a semi-realistic 16th century Spanish exploration of South America RPG and The Inquisitor, based around the 15th/16th Century Inquisition that started in Spain RPG

All three seem to be selling well, with Mars War Logs and Exploration:Conquistadors selling over million copies and still counting!

Posted:9 months ago

#6

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

770 1,005 1.3
I've never even heard of this branch of EA.

Posted:9 months ago

#7

Sam Brown
Programmer

237 163 0.7
I loved Spellforce, I thought it was an excellent twist on the RTS genre. I spent a lot of late nights playing it in the office before I got a decent PC at home. Very sad to see them go.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sam Brown on 13th July 2013 1:08am

Posted:9 months ago

#8

Gil Salvado
3D/2D Artist

20 21 1.1
I played Tiberium Alliances during its Closed Beta and it was a very good game, the studio hadn't lost its wit despite the direction it had been ordered to go by EA. That's one less video game company in Germany, and there ain't many left. My best wishes go out to all the people at Phenomic, especially to the ones I know personally.

Posted:9 months ago

#9

Andreia Quinta
Creative & People Photographer

193 424 2.2
we are working to ensure that impacted employees are treated fairly and with respect for their contributions to EA, and with assistance to find other job opportunities.
"A recommendation letter, gee thanks, I'm sure my kid will love it instead of, you know, food."

Posted:9 months ago

#10

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