PDA

View Full Version : EA Drastically Cutting Release Slate


DoctorFinger
11-10-2009, 10:34 AM
And the hits keep on coming for EA. In the wake of yesterday's announcement of nearly 1,500 layoffs (http://www.colonyofgamers.com/cogforums/showthread.php?t=13490) the gaming giant has revealed that they will be making big cuts to their publishing slate. This is bad news for the company's recent high profile move towards fewer licensed products and more original IPs.

CEO John Riccitiello put it pretty bluntly: 2010 would see about 50 releases, while 2011 would see only about 30, both down from the 60 released this year. That means many of the new and untested intellectual properties EA has developed recently may have already been cut. But which properties are safe?

We know at least some of the easy ones. From the EA sports brand Madden, NBA Live, NHL, FIFA & Tiger Woods golf are almost certainly safe while the NCAA games, Fight Night, Grand Slam Tennis and the upcoming MMA are in question. On the non-sports side The Sims, Battlefield, Command & Conquer, Rock Band, Mass Effect, Dead Space, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Crysis, Harry Potter and the upcoming Dante's Inferno are all probably safe. What's at risk? Most likely Mirror's Edge, Mercenaries, Brutal Legend, The Saboteur, Skate, the upcoming Starbreeze-developed Jason Bourne game, Burnout, Medal of Honor and the announced Wheel of Time games.

Whichever properties survive, EA will be probably not be investing in any new IPs, at least for the time being.

Sources - Develop (http://www.develop-online.net/news/33230/EA-going-cold-on-new-IP); MCV (http://www.mcvuk.com/news/36442/EA-slashes-release-slate-in-half).

Widgetcraft
11-10-2009, 10:41 AM
Really can't say that I give a shit. None of the games you listed are anywhere near my radar, besides Brutal Legend, which was botched by most accounts. People keep saying that EA has gotten better, but I just haven't seen any evidence of this. They still produce one of two things A) Formualic games or B) Half-baked releases. On top of that, their DRM PC-side has been among the most ridiculous.

Fuck'em.

Wilkz07
11-10-2009, 10:49 AM
I would have thought the Burnout series would have been in the safe list. Paradise printed money. I'd rather see them lose a series, or sell it off like Need For Speed over Burnout. mercs and mirror's edge I could do without.

DoctorFinger
11-10-2009, 11:01 AM
EA is shifting Criterion over to the Need for Speed series, at least for the time being. That's why I listed Burnout as endangered.

ElektroDragon
11-10-2009, 11:20 AM
They'd better not cancel Wheel of Time!! Keep the BioWare games, Dante's Inferno, Dead Space, Burnout, and Wheel of Time, and I'll be happy.

Criterion on Need for Speed? That's the ONLY thing that can save that franchise. I've been playing Criterion Games since Redline Racer. Anyone remember that gem??

Phil
11-10-2009, 11:31 AM
the upcoming Starbreeze-developed game

YES!

Jason Bourne game

Nooooooooo!

Adam Blue
11-10-2009, 11:41 AM
See how it works? A big company can only survive by being crappy. Get real with gamers and you gotta cut down. The cycle will repeat.

DoctorFinger
11-10-2009, 11:44 AM
See how it works? A big company can only survive by being crappy. Get real with gamers and you gotta cut down. The cycle will repeat.I think this has a lot to do with the economy, but for the most part you're right. Large scale innovation is frowned upon in this industry. Playing it safe usually wins, except when it doesn't.

Kelegacy
11-10-2009, 12:03 PM
This sucks. EA has really turned it around lately. I have loved many of their games in the last year or two. Activision, I haven't played a single one. Not out of boycott, but because their games just plain suck.

Then again, I don't buy any of their games at $60. That's what I think is hurting the industry, not bad games.

Of course, I'm wrong entirely. People are still buying games at those high prices, and CE's to boot. I think they're all foolish, but I WISH the price tag of games was what hurt game sales. They probably do hurt some titles, but the big ones are safe, like MW2.

ElektroDragon
11-10-2009, 12:06 PM
EA, you had reformed yourself for a whole year or two, it was so promising, but now you are back to your evil profit addiction like your cousin, Activision. And like them, you will do anything to get your fix. Please, get rid of the Arts in your name, if you're going in this direction again.

Narradisall
11-10-2009, 12:06 PM
I can't say I'm too bothered. The only 'cut' one I like is Brutal Legend, and as much as I enjoyed the game I would hate to see a sequel.

Dead Space, Knights of the Old republic, mass effect. All gravy

Ondo
11-10-2009, 12:10 PM
They'd better not cancel Wheel of Time!!
I don't think they could cancel Wheel of Time - it's not an internal studio, it's Red Eagle Games, who signed with EA Partners. They might be able to cancel their publishing contract, but at worst Red Eagle Games would just look for another publisher.

Scull
11-10-2009, 12:30 PM
But...but...what about Dragon Age? WHAT ABOUT DRAGON AGE!

DoctorFinger
11-10-2009, 12:40 PM
But...but...what about Dragon Age? WHAT ABOUT DRAGON AGE!I'd put that in the 'leaning safe' side of the ledger, in large part since Bioware is supposed to have a large degree of independence within the corporate structure.

menage
11-10-2009, 01:11 PM
I'd put that in the 'leaning safe' side of the ledger, in large part since Bioware is supposed to have a large degree of independence within the corporate structure.

And a pretty solid fanbase.

AgtFox
11-10-2009, 01:16 PM
I'm going to guess Mirror's Edge 2 is one of the games canceled and they probably pulled off the developers to whatever else DICE is working on.

The alternating NFS game may have been eliminated, although NFS is a cash cow (it was once the #1 selling game in the world) so they may not give it a year off.

Dead Space 2 is most likely safe, although I could see if Dante's Inferno doesn't do well that this may change.

More than likely Skate is done for after Skate 3 comes out in May. Black Box has felt cuts and even been closed in the past couple years. I believe this is the only game they are primarily working on, although I think they help in other games located at the Vancouver studio.

I believe Tiburon was the group working on the Syndicate sequel, that is most likely canned along with whomever was laid off there.

There's probably others, but these are just guesses.

BioWare is very safe, they are mostly independent like DICE, Criterion and (arguably) Visceral are. Pandemic on the other hand...if Saboteur doesn't do well I'm not sure they'll be around anymore. I have no idea what they are working on after that.

Goronmon
11-10-2009, 01:17 PM
EA, you had reformed yourself for a whole year or two, it was so promising, but now you are back to your evil profit addiction like your cousin, Activision. And like them, you will do anything to get your fix. Please, get rid of the Arts in your name, if you're going in this direction again.1,500 job cuts (was that actually confirmed?) over the next half a year or so is no small amount of restructuring. That tells me there were serious concerns over the viability of the company going forward.

As far as "evil profit addiction". I'm pretty sure profit is a pretty big deal when it comes to any given company. Classifying that as "evil" seems a bit silly.

Kelegacy
11-10-2009, 01:19 PM
Sounds like they need to start putting out monthly Rock Band games like Activision does with GH to pay the bills for good games.

And I'd be fine with that. You suckers can keep buying the same "game" over and over again if it meant the money gets funneled to better projects.

Alas.

AgtFox
11-10-2009, 01:20 PM
1,500 job cuts (was that actually confirmed?) over the next half a year or so is no small amount of restructuring. That tells me there were serious concerns over the viability of the company going forward.

As far as "evil profit addiction". I'm pretty sure profit is a pretty big deal when it comes to any given company. Classifying that as "evil" seems a bit silly.
Yeah, the 1500 was confirmed. It was in their quarter report along with the Playfish acquisition.

menage
11-10-2009, 01:24 PM
Dead Space 2 is most likely safe, although I could see if Dante's Inferno doesn't do well that this may change.

BioWare is very safe, they are mostly independent like DICE, Criterion and Visceral are.

I thought Visceral were heavely tied to EA? God I hope DI does well, but I have worries in those couple of weeks. They should have released it just before Christmas or the start of January, before any other contender hits. There aren't many games like that at all at the moment, and people really want a GoW.

Ondo
11-10-2009, 01:26 PM
Sounds like they need to start putting out monthly Rock Band games like Activision does with GH to pay the bills for good games.
It's not their choice - they just publish Rock Band, unlike Activision which owns Guitar Hero.

AgtFox
11-10-2009, 01:43 PM
I thought Visceral were heavely tied to EA? God I hope DI does well, but I have worries in those couple of weeks. They should have released it just before Christmas or the start of January, before any other contender hits. There aren't many games like that at all at the moment, and people really want a GoW.
They are tied to EA as much as the others are (they're all owned by EA). EA allowed them to be renamed and had given them some autonomy from what I understand. Now, this was before Glen Schofield (the man who worked hard at keeping Dead Space on track and not get canceled) and some other major manager at Visceral left to go to a still unannounced studio for Activision that is working on a new game in an existing franchise.

AgtFox
11-10-2009, 01:48 PM
Something I forgot about. They could be doing this trimming in advance of a possible purchase by Disney. Makes them lean and mean to be taken over. Rumors have swirled about this, but they have quieted down since a little after Disney acquired Marvel.

DoctorFinger
11-10-2009, 02:16 PM
Dead Space and Dante's Inferno are both relatively safe for now because both have films in some stage of development.

menage
11-10-2009, 02:50 PM
Dead Space and Dante's Inferno are both relatively safe for now because both have films in some stage of development.

Thank god for videogame movies then:P!

Ravenlock
11-10-2009, 04:48 PM
Personally I thought Mirror's Edge was awesome, and I'm really sad to see that it probably won't get a sequel. One of the only genuinely new things done with the FPS genre in years (Portal being the only other one coming to mind right now), and tremendously satisfying once you were in the groove with it.

Oh well. :(

pomeroy
11-10-2009, 05:53 PM
Don't you dare cut NCAA Football, EA.

I'll cut you. Right in your corporate face.

MagGnome
11-10-2009, 07:45 PM
How long before we see the headline "EA Declares Bankruptcy, Activision Swoops in to Gobble Up Husk"?



Of course, I'm wrong entirely. People are still buying games at those high prices, and CE's to boot. I think they're all foolish, but I WISH the price tag of games was what hurt game sales. They probably do hurt some titles, but the big ones are safe, like MW2.

Nearly everyone online on my 360 friend's list right now is playing MW2. I wasn't surprised to see that, but I guess I was a little disappointed.


I'd put that in the 'leaning safe' side of the ledger, in large part since Bioware is supposed to have a large degree of independence within the corporate structure.

Yet we've been here before with other very popular developers. I said this back when EA bought Bioware, and I'll say it again - I would not be surprised AT ALL if Bioware was shut down in the next couple of years. Remember, at one point Bullfrog and Origin were very popular studios as well.

pomeroy
11-10-2009, 08:46 PM
Nearly everyone online on my 360 friend's list right now is playing MW2. I wasn't surprised to see that, but I guess I was a little disappointed.

I absolutely hate statements like that. I get disappointed in people when they, I dunno, steal things. Or cheat on people. Things that matter.

MagGnome
11-10-2009, 10:48 PM
I absolutely hate statements like that. I get disappointed in people when they, I dunno, steal things. Or cheat on people. Things that matter.

This does matter, damnit! :p

All kidding aside, I was being just a little hyperbolic earlier.

Kelegacy
11-11-2009, 06:06 AM
I absolutely hate statements like that. I get disappointed in people when they, I dunno, steal things. Or cheat on people. Things that matter.

That stuff doesn't matter to me. Cheating, stealing, murder, rape, suicide. MW2 being a huge seller, now that make me want to write to sling poop.

I am kidding of course. I don't care what people choose to play. Games I love will always sell worse than games I don't really play.

I will rent it, however. That or borrow it for an evening and beat it and give it back. A Call of Duty game has never taken me much more a single sitting, and I hear MW2 is as insultingly short as their last game.

I should give the multiplayer a shot. That's the reason most people buy the game, but I'd like to see a little more effort in the campaign mode.

Purple Santa
11-11-2009, 07:29 AM
How long before we see the headline "EA Declares Bankruptcy, Activision Swoops in to Gobble Up Husk"?

Change that to Disney and you might have a winning guess :D
This does matter, damnit! :p

All kidding aside, I was being just a little hyperbolic earlier.

Hyperbolic or just melodramatic? Or just bringing the drama? ;)

MagGnome
11-11-2009, 07:56 AM
Hyperbolic or just melodramatic? Or just bringing the drama? ;)

Can't it be all three? :p

Xerxes
11-11-2009, 05:22 PM
A total of seven EA-owned studios are alleged to be hit by the publisher’s mass-layoff operations.

Pandemic, EALA, Maxis, Rupture Studios, Mythic, Tiburon and Black Box are all thought to be downsized as EA looks to shed 900 developers from its global workforce

More on Develop Online (http://www.develop-online.net/news/33236/EA-studios-named-in-mass-layoff-operation).