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Reports: EA Restructuring Hits Mythic, Tiburon

Reports: EA Restructuring Hits Mythic, Tiburon

January 20, 2009 | By Eric Caoili

January 20, 2009 | By Eric Caoili
More: Console/PC

Media reports suggest that Electronic Arts' ongoing cost-cutting initiatives have resulted in significant layoffs from Mythic Entertainment's (Warhammer Online) and Florida's EA Tiburon.

According to a report from consumer weblog Joystiq, its playtest group, half of its QA team, and 21 customer service employees have been let go.

Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia and founded in 1995, Mythic Entertainment was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006. The company is best known for its massively multiplayer online role-playing games, such as Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

In addition, Gamasutra sources have indicated that multiple staffers have been let go at EA Tiburon, home of the Madden football game series and a number of other EA Sports titles, as well as other titles for separate EA divisions.

In December, the company revealed plans to cut 10 percent of its global workforce -- 1,000 employees -- and either consolidate or close down "at least nine" of its studios over the course of the next three months and into its next fiscal year starting April 1st.

EA has repeatedly stated since then that it's instituting a "global reduction" that could affect all of its worldwide studios.

But a spokesperson for the company recently told Gamasutra that the company would not be providing comment on specific facilities or staff -- and that it has no plans to make further announcements before its earnings call in early February.

EA has already moved Vancouver-based Black Box's (Skate, Need For Speed series) team and projects to its nearby Burnaby, British Columbia studio. The company also abandoned its plans to open a third location in Vancouver and is believed to have cut ties with Pandemic Brisbane (Destroy All Humans! franchise). Electronic Arts Los Angeles (Boom Blox, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3) was also reportedly impacted by the restructuring.

EA recently said its key titles underperformed in the latter part of 2008, and as such, alongside the uncertain economic environment, it would need to reduce its financial estimates -- and its title portfolio -- into the new year.

The closures, consolidations, and headcount reductions are expected to save EA $120 million annually, but will incur restructuring charges of $55-65 million over the next several quarters.

[UPDATE: Added reports on EA Tiburon restructuring.]

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