The lights are on
[Update #2] Kotaku has received a memo sent by interim CEO and Executive Chairman Larry Probst to the EA staff. The memo details the streamlining taking place, including a consolidation of marketing functions underneath chief operating officer Peter Moore. This also sees the collapse of all label marketing teams and other like functions underneath group vice president of global marketing, Todd Sitrin. Origin moves to Frank Gibeau's Labels organization (EA Games, Maxis, BioWare, and EA Sports). Andrew Wilson, former executive vice president of EA Sports, is taking over leadership of Origin.
It's important to note that even in this internal document, there is no specificity about business operations eliminated or specific refocusing of priorities. This is likely due to the company being in a legally-mandated quiet period pending the release of its fiscal year 2013 financial earnings.
[Update #1] EA just issued the following statement:
"In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. 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."
EA Partners isn't the only division affected by this latest round of layoffs and restructuring. The company has also reportedly closed PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime Games, a studio comprised of former EA Black Box employees that developed the PC title Need For Speed: World.
Reached for comment, a PopCap representative referred us to EA corporate communications, who denied to comment and referred us to the statement above.
We'll continue to update this story as we hear more details.
Game Informer has received word from multiple anonymous sources close to the matter that the EA Partners label will soon be shut down. This program was EA's mechanism for providing contract-based publishing services for independent developers. This move comes during a period that has seen the departure of CEO John Riccitiello, layoffs around the world in the publisher's mobile and social divisions, and the abandonment of relatively new Facebook titles from a studio that was acquired for $300 million.
In our August 2009 issue, we detailed the genesis of EA's publishing arm, which offered services to a number of independent developers. A variety of studios took advantage of EA's prowess to bring their games to market, including Crytek (Crysis 1-3), Starbreeze (Syndicate), Double Fine (Brütal Legend), and Epic Games (Bulletstorm). One of the most visible was 38 Studios' Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, which was the centerpoint of an EA press event on its release day. Just five months later, the truth about that studio was revealed. Whether EA was owed money by Curt Schilling's studio, and if so, how much, remains unknown. The publisher refused to disclose details of the arrangement.
EA founded the consulting business with the leadership of Tom Frisina, co-founder of Accolade and Three-Sixty, in 1997. The publishing arm continued to grow, and it was the genesis of EA's relationship with Battlefield developer DICE (which they have since acquired outright). In 2007, EA was the publishing partner for a number of major successes, including Harmonix's Rock Band, Valve's The Orange Box, and Crytek's Crysis.
At the time our story was published in 2009, EA's Partners program was a lean operation of 50 employees. The operation thrived on low overhead and an ability to nimbly move from one project to the next without permanent development staff. It's unclear how an arm of the business that capitalizes on EA's core publishing competencies and relationships could be deemed a drain on resources.
The two biggest titles anticipated under the label are Respawn's first game and Insomniac's Fuse. According to sources, neither will be affected by this. EA's earnings call for fiscal year 2013 is scheduled for May 7, at which point we expect more information on the publisher's strategy.
We have reached out to EA for comment.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Maybe now Valve can re port The Orange Box with a version of TF2 that works
All of EA needs to go down.
We will probably see more fat trimming in the future. Sorry EA, and this goes for many other publishers as well, we don't need nor want two dozen shooters a year. Hopefully these devs will land on their feet but I would encourage them to spend less money and take more risks when conceptualizing their next project. People want something different more than they want something that sort of stands up to the production values of Gears or Call of Duty.
Get Black Box back to Need for Speed. Criterion is ruining it, no offense Criterion, Burnout is one of my most favorite racing games of all time!
"those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends. But not by us lol". EA BigWigs.
When will EA just die? I'm not normally one to call for blood, but seriously, I want to paint the walls red.
Uh oh, I'm scared now that they're actually closing full devs as well.
Well this doesn't sound to good..
Dang, I really liked the concept of the EA Partners program. It's unfortunate they decided to scrap it as part of this "restructuring".
Too bad for all those workers. With EA the way it is already, can't be good for the quality of its games either.
Peter moore is a man that will not think twice about cutting off limbs if it is bleeding money.
That is what he has done the other guy built a huge tower that was ready to fall at any minute he cut it off. Nobody should be surprised if you joined EA you know it could come at anytime so you join at your own risk.
amazing with all this stuff happening and the criticism, yet i just saw the bf pre order bonus. They still haven't changed.i could care less if they go under. Haven't bought a game since bf3,i just feel like they reverted back after they improved so much
Wonderful, Vancouver has taken a big hit lately and it isn't looking better for us game artists. Vancouver is a lovely place and I would certainly like to have a career in games here.