Electronic Arts has announced that 11 year EA vet and former EALA general manager Neil Young has resigned to head a new independent company, with Westwood Studios founder Lou Castle set to take his place heading EA's Blueprint studio.
As previously reported
, EA's Blueprint studio was headed by Young and colleague Alan Yu with a charter to assist smaller teams with strategic funding and project management on both original IP and extensions of EA brands -- including Facebook games like its version of trivia title Smarty Pants
Prior to his work with Blueprint, Young helmed a number of high profile projects at EA, including its early foray into alternate reality gaming Majestic
, as well as oversight on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Sims 2
and recent Wii-exclusive Steven Spielberg collaboration Boom Blox
According to an internal email reprinted at Newsweek gaming weblog Level Up, an organizational shift
has taken place with Young's departure, with the Blueprint team, Spore
developer Maxis, and EA's Redwood Shores and LA teams now consolidated under Games Group general manager and senior VP Nick Earl.
The email also notes that Castle will be bringing project 'LMNO' to the Blueprint studio, suggesting a newly expanded role for the team. The unannounced title is the second in EA's collaborative contract with Spielberg, and is said to be a more expansive undertaking than Boom Blox
, with creative oversight by former Looking Glass vet Doug Church.
Said EA Games president Frank Gibeau in the email, "Neil is an 11-year EA veteran who has created a lot of great games and many good friendships at EA. We wish him the very best on his new project. Neil will always be welcome at EA."