EA Exec Explains PopCap Layoffs

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

"Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we go slow initially and really understand the culture of the company that's now joining Electronic Arts, and then what we do is we look for where there's opportunities to integrate the companies - and then we accelerate."

Summarized, it means 5 mil unit sales or GTFO.

Hero in a half shell:

Worgen:
That kid from Malcolm in the middle is laying people off at popcap? What the hell?

(yeah yeah I know he... might not have or whatever, but damn does he look like Frankie Muniz or whatever)

I think he looks more like an ageing Harry Potter (it's the eyes!)

I agree. He does look like an old Harry Potter.

Devoneaux:

weirdguy:

Boudica:
I don't know why Escapist bothers reporting on EA news anymore. The second the average forum goer sees the words Electronic and Arts they devolve into hate spewing regurgitators of the same few lines over and over, with no care at all for the actual contents and context of the report, but for the aforementioned words.

To be fair, they did just freaking lay off that guy who did the first PvZ so it's like, what logical reason would there be for that unless they somehow uploaded a copy of his brain into an android that was superior in every way to the original...

All they have to do is keep smiling while they slowly peel away the skin, then the muscles, and the bones and the organs, and by the time a valid complaint can be lodged, it's already hanging in the butcher's window. It's not as if they haven't already done it before. You act as if these concerns and yelling are completely unfounded.

Possibly, but folks like you need to recognize the difference between EA's crap and standard practice for corporations. When you acquire a new asset, you don't need things like a second legal team, so you get rid of it, MAYBE keep some and integrate them into your legal team if they're talented and so on.

That's like saying I should familiarize myself with the difference between loose stool and diarrhea. Massive layoffs or cutbacks due to a greedy publisher cannibalizing game studios left and right should not be standard practice. This is just one of the many reasons why EA was named Worst Company in America by The Consumerist. They even beat out Bank of America, who's mortgage people are some of the worst lot I've ever had to deal with. So no, "folks like me" don't need to go along with their crap and pretend they're doing anything positive for this industry by ripping apart jobs.

hooksashands:
Bile bile bile

Corporate buyouts are actually fairly common in the corporate world regardless of industry.

As for cannibalizing studios left and right? Moot point, those studios were likely already on their last leg. If they wheren't then they wouldn't agree to sell themselves to EA and the like, because it would have been more financially beneficial to remain their own entity. Almost every studio EA buys up were in some type of financial trouble and would have probably died off far earlier if not for EA. People like to demonize EA, Activision and so on for destroying developers, but really all they do is give these developers who were already in the process of sinking a second chance with strings attached. A chance nobody else is capable of giving them. You can argue the effects of this, or if they even do it well, but that is all they are guilty of.

Devoneaux:

Corporate buyouts are actually fairly common in the corporate world regardless of industry.

Not until 10 years ago they weren't. Software/developer buyouts only started happening en masse when our economy hit the dirt.

Devoneaux:
As for cannibalizing studios left and right? Moot point, those studios were likely already on their last leg.

Um, no they aren't. Pandemic was doing fine until they were bought by EA. Then they release Mercenaries 3 and poof, goodbye.

Devoneaux:
If they wheren't then they wouldn't agree to sell themselves to EA and the like, because it would have been more financially beneficial to remain their own entity. Almost every studio EA buys up were in some type of financial trouble and would have probably died off far earlier if not for EA.

So this is what it's like to talk to somonee who's been brainwashed. The fact that EA tries to pass itself as the sole videogame savior is terrifying enough without you going merrily along with their developer holocaust. There should be plenty of other options available to companies besides letting the bigger one gobble them up, otherwise things like Kickstarter would not exist.

Devoneaux:
People like to demonize EA, Activision and so on for destroying developers, but really all they do is give these developers who were already in the process of sinking a second chance with strings attached.

No, they do a fine job of demonizing themselves. For fuck's sake, the evidence has been there all along. They don't give second chances, unless by "second chance" you mean "impossible deadlines" and "unfair workloads." Oh, and eventual "career deadends." Thanks to EA, we will never get to see another game from Hypnotix, NuFX, Phenomic, Bullfrog, Kesmai and Origin (now used as the name for their shitty delivery service). Kinda like if I killed one of your family members, stuffed their corpse, then asked you for money.

Devoneaux:
A chance nobody else is capable of giving them. You can argue the effects of this, or if they even do it well, but that is all they are guilty of.

Yea, whatever. If this is their idea of how to run a business, I'd rather just watch AAA games die right now. Fuck EA. And fuck any company that buys up as many IPs as it can only to let them stagnate.

Worgen:
That kid from Malcolm in the middle is laying people off at popcap? What the hell?

(yeah yeah I know he... might not have or whatever, but damn does he look like Frankie Muniz or whatever)

Cannot be unseen...

Devoneaux:

hooksashands:
Bile bile bile

Corporate buyouts are actually fairly common in the corporate world regardless of industry.

As for cannibalizing studios left and right? Moot point, those studios were likely already on their last leg.

Origin Systems weren't in any financial difficulty, and had no intention of being bought out by any company.
Then EA set their sights on them. They wanted Origin's IPs so they sued them with unfair lawsuits and bullied them into financial difficulty, until Origin were going under and needed someone to buy out the company to continue functioning, which EA did. And that's not just gamer speculation or gossip, EA admitted it. They admitted they destroyed the company because they wanted to buy it.

Of the other companies that were merged, Westwood held a 6% share of the total gaming market the year it was bought. In comparison the (much much larger) EA only had an 11% share. That's pretty much the definition of successful.

Bioware and Pandemic certainly were not on their 'last legs' (they were owned by the same company) Heck, Bioware were RPG gamers golden child with runaway successes of KOTOR, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. There were no reports of financial difficulties, no layoffs, no announcements of delayed games/problems with funding.
If you want to know the reason for the merger, you just need to know one thing: EA CEO John Riccitiello had just relinquished control as Managing Director for the firm that controlled the company in charge of both studios. Because of that he got a $5 million handshake as a bonus for the merger. That's $5 million personal income, with no company ties or restrictions.

Now this wasn't always the case, I'm sure there were companies that were in dire straits until EA bought them, but it shows that at least once, EA manipulated and forced a company to merge, in another, it was pure personal gain for EA's head honcho.

Stuff 'em.

The beginning of the end? Never understood why a company doing as well as Popcap felt the need accept a buyout (other than the payout of course), especially from EA!

I don't know if anyone will see this, but I chatted with a friend who has associates in Popcap, and she basically said that George Fan's departure was EA's doing. Take friend-of-a-friend sourcing for what it's worth, of course, but from where I stand, EA continues to degenerate. And in the process, make choosing to avoid their works into less of a whim and more of a sacred calling.

Andy Chalk:

But Gibeau seemed to cast some doubt on that statement in an interview with Bloomberg, in which he implied that the decision was pretty much entirely EA's. "Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we go slow initially and really understand the culture of the company that's now joining Electronic Arts, and then what we do is we look for where there's opportunities to integrate the companies - and then we accelerate," he said.

Translation:

Typically at EA what we do when we acquire a company is we make sure that we start screwing them slow, initially, and make sure the company is made to understand the culture of their new overlords, that being us, EA. And then what we do is we look to see who's expendable, who's problematic, who's going to cause a fuss over long hours, crappy working environments, being forced to work on endless sequels, etc... and then the screwing accelerates. We start riding that studio from behind like a seasoned cattle herder.

Yeah... not surprised to see the EA defenders amassing though. Strange, how with a history like theirs, they can still amass people to support them and give them the benefit of the doubt. If only EA had given Westwood, Pandemic, Bullfrog, Origin and others the benefit of the doubt.

Also, it's really creepy how EA will gut a studio, then carry on pumping out sequels to their games for years afterwards. I can't be the only one who felt an unearthly shudder when Red Alert 3 was announced. It's like the scene where Hannibal Lecter escaped custody by wearing a dead man's face...

 Pages PREV 1 2

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here