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EA confirms closure of Origin Systems

Publisher Electronic Arts has reportedly confirmed that its Origin Systems development studio in Austin, Texas is to shut, with around 100 employees being offered relocation to the Redwood Shores campus in California.

Publisher Electronic Arts has reportedly confirmed that its Origin Systems development studio in Austin, Texas is to shut, with around 100 employees being offered relocation to the Redwood Shores campus in California.

The remainder of the staff at the studio, which is best known for its work on the Ultima and Wing Commander franchises, will be offered severance packages. It's thought that the teams being offered relocation are the Ultima Online and Ultima X: Odyssey teams.

The move follows EA's decision last month to relocate Sims developer Maxis to Redwood Shores, although that was a less drastic move, since Maxis' former offices were located only 30 miles away.

Austin Game Initiative executive director Chris Sherman was upbeat about EA's decision to close the studio, despite "obvious disappointment" in the area's game development community.

"There is every expectation that the talented members of the Origin that do opt to remain in Austin will be snapped up by existing studios in the region or may once again spawn a new crop of studios here locally," he explained in a statement. "With so much talent expected to be available several local studio heads have indicated they are now evaluating accelerating their hiring plans."

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Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.