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EA Montreal refocuses on HD consoles

Wed 25 Nov 2009 11:06am GMT / 6:06am EST / 3:06am PST
HardwareDevelopment

Top EA developer to move away from "unpredictable" Wii market

Major development studio EA Montreal is to focus on "action titles and HD-quality products" for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, rather than more Wii exclusive games, according to new comments from general manager Alain Tascan.

Speaking to website Edge Online, Tascan described the Wii market as "a little bit unpredictable these days". In recent years the studio has produced a number of Wii exclusive titles such as Boogie and Skate It, but to relatively little commercial or critical success.

"We’re going to see how Christmas is going to do and while with the Wii we have had very successful titles, we are going to focus on big, blockbuster-type titles. It doesn't mean that we are going to abandon the Wii, but as a studio we want to be ready for new challenges," said Tascan.

The change in approach comes in the wake of massive layoffs at a number of EA studios, with up to 1500 staff made redundant and the almost complete closure of Pandemic Studios. It is still unclear whether EA Montreal has been significantly affected by the cuts.

The decision has also been influenced by the success of action title Army of Two, which Tascan describes as "the most successful original IP EA has had in the last few years". A sequel is already due in the spring.

"This studio — our mobile division as well — is going to be very nimble and able to adapt to the market; I feel right now our label wants to focus on fewer and bigger things, and the market is going through this soft transition where people want these very high value productions on one side, which is our specialty within the games label, but also this casual, but high quality, product that they can play quickly, of which mobile is one part and Playfish is another," said Tascan.

"We’re just trying to adapt to the reality of today. I think the market is showing that if you don’t adapt fast enough then you’ll be in trouble," he added.

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