Several Madden Developers Test Free Agency
Today Game Informer confirmed a report from sports blogger Pastapadre that several senior level Madden developers from EA Tiburon are leaving the studio.
After Pastapadre founder Bryan Wiedey broke the news of the exodus on Sunday, today executive producer Phil Frazier corroborated the report. Though Frazier wouldn't disclose the names of the departing staff members, this afternoon Wiedey tweeted that creative director Ian Cummings is among those leaving the studio. Cummings, best known as the creator of the hit stick, served as the voice of the franchise over the past few years. Game Informer has reached out to several of the more high-profile team members, but has yet to confirm the identity of the other leaving developers.
The move comes on the heels of a report from The Orlando Business Journal that a former EA Tiburon executive has formed a new Orlando-based social games studio called Row Sham Bow, Inc. Wiedey speculates that many of the departed are taking their talents to this new venture.
It remains to be seen how these departures will affect the development of Madden NFL 12. Given the short dev cycle of the yearly sports titles, if the departures are immediate it could have an adverse affect during crunch time. It's also possible that the developers could be leaving upon completion of the next game. Madden NFL 12 ships on August 30.