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EA details job losses and cancelled projects

Tue 10 Nov 2009 8:40am GMT / 3:40am EST / 12:40am PST
PublishingDevelopment

900 dev positions, 500 publishing and 100 corporate jobs to go; around 12 in-development titles cancelled

Electronic Arts has detailed the radical business changes first announced last night which will see it lay off 1500 staff by the end of March 2010 and reduce the number of blockbuster titles it releases each year.

Speaking during a conference call to investors, chief financial officer John Brown clarified that 900 positions in game development will go, 500 jobs in publishing and 100 at corporate level, in a bid to to save USD 100 million annually.

"Laying off employees and closing facilities is never pleasant," offered John Riccitiello, CEO of Electronic Arts. "We have a lot of compassion for those impacted but these cuts are essential for transforming our company. Our operating expenses will be reduced by at least USD 100 million compared to our current run rate."

Although solid details on teams affected have not yet been addressed, it's believed Black Box, Redwood Shores, Tiburon and Mythic have all been hit, and the publisher has said it will close "several" facilities down entirely.

"We think the cuts we have made are very, very aggressive. We've cut teams, we've cut corporate, we've cut overhead, we've cut publishing but not to the point of hampering ourselves," added Riccitiello.

As well as letting staff go, EA plans to reduce its portfolio of titles, with Riccitiello suggesting that around 12 unannounced projects in various stages of development have been cancelled.

"Electronic Arts has a core slate of games label and sports franchises that we will iterate on a either annual or bi-annual basis. And I think you know what those major titles are - all of them are selling or have sold in their most recent edition 2 million units or more," he detailed.

"After that, we've got The Sims and Hasbro, and frankly anything that doesn't measure up to looking like it can pencil out to be in very high profit contributor and high unit seller got cut from our title slate from this point going forward.

"So it is really, in a way, if you could array our title slate up knowing what we did about what we would have otherwise brought to market, we cut the bottom third of it."

5 Comments

Tameem Antoniades
Creative Director & Co-founder

196 164 0.8
speechless.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Phil Elliott
Project Leader, Collective; Head of Community (Live Team)

162 29 0.2
First up, our sympathies go to those affected by the job cuts.

Secondly I've spoken to a lot of people in the past year who have noted the change in EA in the past few years and been pleased to see them taking a strong position on investing in new IP - Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, Spore, Brutal Legend, Dragon Age, to name a few.

Most people are also agreed that new IP is crucial for the mid-to-long term future of the industry (see Rod Cousens and Yoichi Wada comments last week, for example) so I hope that while focusing on strong franchises might help the business environment, it's not at the expense of good work with new products.

Posted:4 years ago

#2
Looks like a copycat of last year's conference call. What's going on at EA?
They keep laying off employees but nothing has changed in one (and more) year(s).
You know, when a soccer team fails in achieving results, is the coach that is sent home not the players.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
Very, very sad news. I'll wager these 12 projects that have been cut aren't the next iterations of Madden or FIFA. The new IP stance at EA recently is obviously having the blame laid at it's feet. Mind you, they didn't have too many problems forking out $300 mill for Playfish....

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Jonathan McEnroe
Freelance 2D artist

47 20 0.4
Yet they buy Playfish for USD 275 million.......I'm lost!

Posted:4 years ago

#5

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