EA Cuts Jobs From EA Canada and Blackbox

EA Cuts Jobs From EA Canada and Blackbox

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Even though it's had a solid year, EA is letting some folks go from its offices in Canada.

Electronic Arts has revealed that it's in the process of some "restructuring." This is also known as "corporate shuffling," "streamlining the workforce" and "giving folks the sack." The publisher's admitted that it's laying people off from its Canadian workforce, though it's not exactly giving a definite reason.

Both EA Canada and its subsidiary studio Black Box (known for a number of quality games) have had their employee population reduced, but it hasn't been revealed exactly how many people have been laid off. EA did speak to GamesIndustry.biz about the move:

"EA in Vancouver is transforming its studio to align with EA's transformation to high-growth digital formats, including online, social gaming and free-to-play.

"As the BC studio makes this transformation, a small number of employees are being impacted while most others are being retrained, redeployed and rolling-on to new projects."

Now, as opposed to THQ (which seems to be cutting jobs and reducing pay as a last-ditch effort to stave off a complete collapse), EA pointed out that it's doing fine financially. Its online store Origin pulled in $100 million last year, and The Old Republic is doing gangbuster business.

Hopefully those who've been laid off find new positions soon.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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Why does this whiff of the old EA tactic of buying out then assimilating perfectly good dev studios?

Can I just store this article to bring out next time people ask why I dislike EA's business strategy?

Let's just say that it's laid off an unknown number of people for no good reason, and re-imagined a lot of other jobs. Probably into gritty FPS (Facing Probable Sack) roles.

Nice.

I bet this is the old bioware team getting the sack so it is truly a limb of this great devouring Hive Mind

Wow, big surprise that EA is doing this. What I don't understand is this statement:

Even though it's had a solid year, EA is letting some folks go from its offices in Canada.

I would hardly call EA reporting Q3 2011 losses of $322Million a solid year.

Though, they are still highly profitable as it turns out. Doing great on the mobile market and all that.

Also, I hate EA. It's cruel and unusual, but I hope they fail at life. It would suck to see all of those people out of work. That is the beauty of capitalism though, that would free up a lot of worthwhile members of the workforce to work at companies that aren't total pieces of shit.

Correction: EA Black Box used to be known for making good games. They have made nothing but garbage for a while now. And having their workforce cut isn't going to do anything to help the situation.

Feeling for my Canuck Comrades who suddenly found themselves without work. Yup, really liking EA right now...

The_root_of_all_evil:
Can I just store this article to bring out next time people ask why I dislike EA's business strategy?

Let's just say that it's laid off an unknown number of people for no good reason, and re-imagined a lot of other jobs. Probably into gritty FPS (Facing Probable Sack) roles.

Nice.

Putting out mediocrity for the past few years and suffering layoffs for it is suddenly evil when it's EA doing it?

If this was Random Publisher Z laying off people from Black Box Studios, it wouldn't be news.

What? They aren't blaming piracy for the lay offs? I'm astonished.

Eh, Black Box's games have had lackluster sales as of late.
EA's financial success probably isn't attributed to them at all, so from their perspective, they're hacking of the gangrenous limb before it spreads.

Sucks to be them either way. :\

oh €A, why are so €A??
one day they will get a price for being the worst company in the world like what we read here and for customer service.

Scrustle:
Correction: EA Black Box used to be known for making good games. They have made nothing but garbage for a while now. And having their workforce cut isn't going to do anything to help the situation.

they made the Skate franchise good it was so good they killed Tony Hawk and now Activision has to reboot it.

Haven't purchased an EA game in two years and the future looks just as promising. Keep it up EA.

I looked at the list of games by Black Box... Where are those quality games that were mentioned? I would cut them too to put more money into better projects.

gigastar:
Why does this whiff of the old EA tactic of buying out then assimilating perfectly good dev studios?

Yeah classic EA. Buy out games studio that has made quality games, try to mould them into a mini EA which doesn't fit how the developers used to work, quality of games drop because of it, EA then closes the studio claiming poor performance, when the poor performance was the result of their interference.

EA are sure going out their way to remind me why I hate them every week.

Frostbite3789:

Putting out mediocrity for the past few years and suffering layoffs for it is suddenly evil when it's EA doing it?

Laying off an unknown amount of staff for unknown reasons while making a profit is. Mainly because it gets past the unfair dismissal charges.

ForgottenPr0digy:

Scrustle:
Correction: EA Black Box used to be known for making good games. They have made nothing but garbage for a while now. And having their workforce cut isn't going to do anything to help the situation.

they made the Skate franchise good it was so good they killed Tony Hawk and now Activision has to reboot it.

Yeah the Skate games were pretty much the last games they made that were any good, but they were all very similar. The Need For Speed series started it's downward spiral with that studio and they haven't managed to pull the series out of it since. I don't think any other studio has done a good NFS game either, but Black Box has produced among the worst in recent times.

While job loses are always sad, I hope they give NFS back to Critereon, Blackbox's latest attempts have been average at best.

I'm going to put the next set of EA layoffs to be from Bioware/Mythic as they fire about 80% of the DM/GM staff for ToR, Dark Age, and Warhammer.

The subscription numbers will drop, Dark Age and Warhammer servers will be merged again onto rehashed servers, numbers will drop, and the two games will death spiral.

ToR will remain stronger for a while, until an large portion of players quit within 3 months, because they can't handle the PvP exploits being used blatantly all day and night, because they cut the DM/GM staff. EA will then declare ToR a failure, fire the current Bioware staff, and hire hacks to try to put out a new Mass Effect and Dragon Age game. The game will have amazing day one sales, but afterwords will quickly plummet, due to the fact that anyone who waited long enough for reviews will realize the games themselves sucked. EA will then continue to divest holdings until they file for Bankruptcy due to gross mismanagement of their properties, on the 2nd anniversary of the Best Buy bankruptcy(for gross mismanagement). Expect this to happen by 2018.

vxicepickxv:
I'm going to put the next set of EA layoffs to be from Bioware/Mythic as they fire about 80% of the DM/GM staff for ToR, Dark Age, and Warhammer.

The subscription numbers will drop, Dark Age and Warhammer servers will be merged again onto rehashed servers, numbers will drop, and the two games will death spiral.

ToR will remain stronger for a while, until an large portion of players quit within 3 months, because they can't handle the PvP exploits being used blatantly all day and night, because they cut the DM/GM staff. EA will then declare ToR a failure, fire the current Bioware staff, and hire hacks to try to put out a new Mass Effect and Dragon Age game. The game will have amazing day one sales, but afterwords will quickly plummet, due to the fact that anyone who waited long enough for reviews will realize the games themselves sucked. EA will then continue to divest holdings until they file for Bankruptcy due to gross mismanagement of their properties, on the 2nd anniversary of the Best Buy bankruptcy(for gross mismanagement). Expect this to happen by 2018.

But I don't want to wait that long!

Seriously, EA is amazing. Never before have I seen a company that actually subscribes to a Shadowrun-esque "corporate giant can do whatever it wants" philosophy. It kind of makes Mirror's Edge, a game for which they were the publishers, seem either prophetic or ironic.

Soxafloppin:
While job loses are always sad, I hope they give NFS back to Critereon, Blackbox's latest attempts have been average at best.

Criterion, in my opinion, should stick to Burnout, as Hot Pursuit was too arcade-y, whilst NFS The Run was a nice callback to the days of Most Wanted & Carbon.

Akichi Daikashima:

Soxafloppin:
While job loses are always sad, I hope they give NFS back to Critereon, Blackbox's latest attempts have been average at best.

Criterion, in my opinion, should stick to Burnout, as Hot Pursuit was too arcade-y, whilst NFS The Run was a nice callback to the days of Most Wanted & Carbon.

True that Hot pursuit was a pretty big departure for the series, but DEM POLICE CHASES, Dayum.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Frostbite3789:

Putting out mediocrity for the past few years and suffering layoffs for it is suddenly evil when it's EA doing it?

Laying off an unknown amount of staff for unknown reasons while making a profit is. Mainly because it gets past the unfair dismissal charges.

"Despite solid performances from a number of catalogue titles and a boost in digital sales, Electronic Arts reported a loss of $322 million for Q3 2011, with total revenues topping $1.05 billion, the publisher reported to investors today."

Now, Q4 will be their biggest by far. But it's yet to be seen if it's still a gain.

And just because the overall company is making money, if you're sinking more money into a studio than you're making back, it stands to reason, you'd like to make more money if you can. You don't just keep tossing money at it.

The Artificially Prolonged:

gigastar:
Why does this whiff of the old EA tactic of buying out then assimilating perfectly good dev studios?

Yeah classic EA. Buy out games studio that has made quality games, try to mould them into a mini EA which doesn't fit how the developers used to work, quality of games drop because of it, EA then closes the studio claiming poor performance, when the poor performance was the result of their interference.

EA are sure going out their way to remind me why I hate them every week.

Black Box has been under EA for years now.

Edit: This reminds of having watched Moneyball recently. When things were going poorly for the A's that year, everyone was blaming Billy Beane. When things turned around, it was the calming influence of Art Howe. What? Black Box was under EA when they were making their good games. But it had nothing to do with EA. Now that things have gone poorly, "IT'S ALL EA'S FAULT ZOMG!"

Frostbite3789:

Black Box has been under EA for years now.

Edit: This reminds of having watched Moneyball recently. When things were going poorly for the A's that year, everyone was blaming Billy Beane. When things turned around, it was the calming influence of Art Howe. What? Black Box was under EA when they were making their good games. But it had nothing to do with EA. Now that things have gone poorly, "IT'S ALL EA'S FAULT ZOMG!"

Pretty much this. Everyone and their dog like to do the "Blame EA" Game. Even in a case like this, studio that hasn't made much of anything to write home about, a studio that is becoming a money sink getting removed. DURR EA IS EVIL EVEN THOUGH ANY OTHER COMPANY WOULD DO THE SAME DURRRR.

Frostbite3789:

And just because the overall company is making money, if you're sinking more money into a studio than you're making back, it stands to reason, you'd like to make more money if you can. You don't just keep tossing money at it.

So, what games has Black Box been given to make? What games will have to be moved/shelved because of this? How many people were terminated? What were the grounds for dismissal?

If you're going to make a press release, certain pertinent details should be at the front. The first being number of jobs gone.

I tried NFS: The Run. I think Black Box had it coming. That game was shit.

Soxafloppin:

Akichi Daikashima:

Soxafloppin:
While job loses are always sad, I hope they give NFS back to Critereon, Blackbox's latest attempts have been average at best.

Criterion, in my opinion, should stick to Burnout, as Hot Pursuit was too arcade-y, whilst NFS The Run was a nice callback to the days of Most Wanted & Carbon.

True that Hot pursuit was a pretty big departure for the series, but DEM POLICE CHASES, Dayum.

I still have Hot Pursuit. 1998 racing at it's finest. Hot Pursuit 2 in 2002 was pretty good as well.

Oh, you mean the 2010 remake? I see...

Anyway, just have to say that NFS The Run was not in any way, shape, or form similar to Most Wanted or Carbon, both of which were very much based off Underground 1 and 2. The Run was a terrible, non nonsensical game. The only factor that could be considered redeeming is the actual racing, but it was repetitive and silly at best.

Black Box needs to make a Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2. Seriously.

The_root_of_all_evil:

So, what games has Black Box been given to make? What games will have to be moved/shelved because of this? How many people were terminated? What were the grounds for dismissal?

If you're going to make a press release, certain pertinent details should be at the front. The first being number of jobs gone.

Well, I don't have an account with GameIndustry.biz and that's the only reference this article gives.

But here's the blurb it had, "EA has confirmed it is restructuring its Vancouver operations, and cutting a small number of jobs in the process."

Even in this article there is, "As the BC studio makes this transformation, a small number of employees are being impacted while most others are being retrained, redeployed and rolling-on to new projects."

 

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