NEWS - Tuesday, June 8, 2004

EA Cuts 117 Jobs In Reshuffle

Recent moves by Electronic Arts, designed to consolidate more of the company’s US development efforts in its headquarters in California’s Redwood Shores, have led to some 117 job losses, according to a recent regulatory filing from the publisher. The two major changes responsible for the job losses are the relocation of Walnut Creek, California based Maxis to the Redwood Shores facility, and the closure of the Austin, Texas based Origin Systems. The bulk of the 117 affected employees are expected to be finally laid off in the current quarter. EA also recently announced a number of layoffs from its UK development studio, with the EA Northwest studio in Warrington suffering a number of job losses only half a year after it swallowed Liverpool-based developer Studio 33. Although Electronic Arts has been hugely successful with its product line-up over the past few years, it has been ruthless in its consolidation of development facilities where required. Only months prior to the closure of Origin and the relocation of Maxis, the company axed the well-known Westwood studio in Las Vegas, while the Seattle-based team responsible for work on the Need for Speed franchise was also closed last year. The same regulatory filing also revealed the global breakdown of EA’s revenues by platform for the last financial year - with the PlayStation 2 accounting for some $1.3 billion of the firm’s sales, up from just over $900 million in the previous year, trailed by the PC with $470 million (down from $500 million) and the Xbox with $384 million (up from $219 million). The GameCube was, unsurprisingly, the weakest of the current generation platforms for EA - managing just $200 million in revenues, up from $177 million the year before - while sales on the original PlayStation collapsed to $30 million from $100 million last year.

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