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EA confirms lay-offs; PopCap Vancouver, Quicklime closed

Thursday, 25th April 2013 22:16 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Following rumours of the closure of the entire EA Partners label, EA has made a very vague statement confirming lay-offs and restructuring.

“In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile,” the publisher said in a statement titled “Organizational Update”.

“This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees – those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends.”

“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.”

Obviously, it’s unclear how many staff have been cut or what roles they served. All the best to those affected.

Update

Kotaku has what is alleged to be a memo from executive chairman Larry Probst, sent to all employees to announce the job cuts. Probst reiterates messages about the difficulty of the decision to make cuts and the value EA places on employees, and says the cuts made in the last two weeks “represent the majority of our planned personnel actions”.

He also outlined two major structural changes:

“Core marketing functions have been consolidated under our COO, Peter Moore. The combined group will bring together our Label marketing teams, Global Acquisition Marketing and Marketing Analytics into one multi-talented team under Todd Sitrin’s leadership. The development and marketing teams will continue to work as cohesive units, driving clear and consistent messaging and consumer engagement for each of our franchises.

“Origin will move into Frank Gibeau’s Labels organization. Andrew Wilson will take on the leadership of Origin, working with CJ Prober and the team to create more value and an enhanced entertainment experience for our consumers.”

Casualties
In addition to previously reported cuts in EA’s mobile and casual division, a couple of tweets noted by GameInformer suggest PopCap’s Vancouver office and Quicklime have both been shuttered.

PopCap Vancouver made hidden object games, and Quicklime was staffed by former EA Blackbox staff and developed Need for Speed: World on PC.

EA is going through a bit of a rough patch; it hasn’t turned a decent profit in quite a while, eventually resulting in the exit of former CEO John Riccitiello.

This talk of focusing on “new technologies and mobile” may seem a bit worrying, but could refer to a next-gen push rather than ploughing on with unsuccessful current-gen projects. It seems unlikely EA will be chasing the social and casual dollar too blindly as it seems to have made serious cuts in that division.

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12 Comments

  1. Demigod

    Cant honestly say Im surprised no EA game has really stood out for me in the last year.

    Im not bitter cough… Mass effect 3′s ending From hell’s heart, I stab at thee. For hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee …cough

    :lol
    See not bitter

    But other than Mass effect and battle field3 I cant relay think of an outstanding EA game. Its just the roster update + odd feature sports games

    #1 1 year ago
  2. GrimRita

    they just thought that they could buy their way to good reviews to equal increased sales and it isnt working.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. DSB

    It’s the EA song and dance. Spend, spend, spend until the company comes crashing down, then fire a few thousand and start over again.

    Most importantly: Learn absolutely nothing from it.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Brenna Hillier

    Updated.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. fearmonkey

    The sad thing is that 90% of the low rung employees are who lose their jobs, while the idiot executives that made all the bad decisions keep theirs.

    Ritticello resigned, but we all know that many of the execs under him were responsible for the dumb decisions, it cant really be just John’s fault.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. DSB

    I thought DeMartini was overseeing Origin. Am I missing something?

    #6 1 year ago
  7. GrimRita

    @5 indeed. its an expensive way to purchase IP imo.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. freedoms_stain

    @5, not only that, but the executives will pat themselves on the back for all the “efficiency savings” they made and give themselves massive bonuses at the end of the year – ignoring that they’re responsible for ploughing the company into the ground in the first place.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. malethief

    Sorry to heard about black box as I did enjoy the skate games. And Popcap workers. They always make crack addicting games so hopefully hey didn’t lose anything they were working on.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. redwood

    popcap was a mobile/web game dev.. than why did get the boot when EA is restructuring for mobile, that just says a lot about how bad EA does it’s business

    #10 1 year ago
  11. CyberMarco

    Not surprised at all, this is how business works in a capitalist system. Those who do the real work face the consequences of the executives who don’t realize that have to change tactics and still get rewarded with special bonuses…

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Cobra951

    @13: The worst thing about capitalism is that it’s based on a fallacy: infinite growth. Nothing can grow forever. Resources are finite. Eventually, every publicly traded entity must face serious failures as a result. Privately held businesses need not follow this path to the precipice, but they often do.

    #12 1 year ago

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