Electronic Arts Cuts Staff at Playfish and Hyderabad Studios

Electronic Arts Cuts Staff at Playfish and Hyderabad Studios

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The news of the layoffs follows closely behind yesterday's announcement of the looming closure of three major Facebook games.

Electronic Arts announced yesterday that The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society will all be taken offline on June 14. Today, the other shoe dropped, as the publisher confirmed deep staffing cuts at mobile studio EA Hyderabad and social studio EA Playfish.

Roughly 50 employees at EA Hyderabad have been let go "due to (a) few major titles sunset," according to a message posted on the Nasscom Gaming Forum on Facebook. An Electronic Arts rep did not confirm the number but did tell MCV India that the company is "sharpening its focus" and that "in some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more efficient organization."

"These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles," the rep explained. "Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world."

Layoffs have also hit Playfish, the social game studio EA acquired in 2009 for $300 million. The number of employees let go from that studio isn't known and in fact Develop says the cuts may have been made as far back as a month ago, prior to the announcement of the Playfish games closures. MCV India reports that the studio has been closed down entirely, although that remains unconfirmed; however, EA did tell Joystiq that it "won't be commenting on the status of Playfish," an ominous-sounding non-denial if ever there was one.

Aside from their proximity to the Facebook game closures, the Playfish and Hyderabad cuts also come less than a week after EA laid off staff at its mobile studio in Montreal - and issued the same statement, word for word, to explain it. Electronic Arts bet heavily on the social game business over the past few years but now appears to have given up on that strategy.

Sources: MCV India, Develop

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EA you just went full cannibal
You never go full cannibal.

"And the axeman swings low and long
The axemen swings slow and strong"

Still riding that wave of fail from Q2, eh EA?
Well, at least we're finally, slowly moving past the Zynga-era of gaming, but it's not surprising to me at all that EA tried to ape Zynga to begin with.

*mutters*Minimal-effort, derivative, skinner-centric click-spam garbage.*mutters*

So randomly buying studios for large sums of money without any long term plan or backup is a bad idea?

Honestly is it just me or is being bought out by EA a death sentence now?

kajinking:
So randomly buying studios for large sums of money without any long term plan or backup is a bad idea?

Honestly is it just me or is being bought out by EA a death sentence now?

Pretty much. EA is like the Grim Reaper, taking out studios with a proverbial giant scythe.

EA is like a little kid that wants to get all the pokemon, only to never play the game again after getting them.

And didnt EA just announce they were going to INCREASE focus on the same areas they are now firing people in?

What do we want? A Game Developer's Union! When do we want it? Now!

...ahem. Anyways, just another example of the totally perfectly healthy gaming industry. Or not. If EA's not careful, they're going to run out of studios to take the axe to soon. And an EA without smaller developers to feed to the woodchipper is... well, it's not really EA at all, is it?

So, $300 million well spent then? Yet another company thrown on the rotting pile of developers outside EA HQ because they don't make billions of dollars for their slave masters.

Any bets on when the dried up husk of Bioware will be next up to the gallows?

Whatever happened to Activision putting out all these enraging newsmakers?

Soviet Heavy:
Whatever happened to Activision putting out all these enraging newsmakers?

Activision just kind of settled into the routine of turning out CoD games for massive profit each year and seems pretty content with that.

EA wants that as well and is doing every terrible business practice it can manage to try and get there. Of course it's all for naught because the reason they will never have the audience Call of Duty has is because their games aren't named "Call of Duty".

so in order for the super rich people in charge who made bad decisions which hurt the company decided that in order to not earn slightly less money that a bunch of hard working people had be fired.... i hate this world

Swing and A miss you aren't Idiots EA stop doing things like this I feel like a school boy trying to defend his brother while that brother does something nonsensical and irrational all the fucking time.

Calling it: Playfish and Hyderabad will be dead in 6 months. That's how things usually go with EA...

tbh, I was of the opinion that at the time playfish realized that they should jump ship at their peak of marketability, and then got away with the fat stacks while EA was left holding a deflating balloon

weirdguy:
tbh, I was of the opinion that at the time playfish realized that they should jump ship at their peak of marketability, and then got away with the fat stacks while EA was left holding a deflating balloon

This! Does anyone serriously even begin to think that Playfish was ever worth anything near $300 million? The people who started it cashed out big time. The poor employees still there failed to realize that the company fulfilled its goal the day EA handed over the check, and they were dead men walking from then on.

EA: rapidly becoming the Blockbuster Video of the video game world.

...Except that there isn't an obvious, superior purveyor of similar content waiting in the wings to take their place. *sigh*...

And thus the cycle of EA continues...

Let us hope poor sods who go fired find better jobs, and that EA headquarters gets hit by multiple meteorites.

kajinking:
So randomly buying studios for large sums of money without any long term plan or backup is a bad idea?

Honestly is it just me or is being bought out by EA a death sentence now?

being bought by EA has been a death sentence for years.

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Any studio EA buys will eventually end up in the mass grave.

Copy pasting peoples livelihoods away... you stay classy EA...

I actually thought EA was doing fairly well in the FB/Mobile arena. I didn't personally play the games, but I guess others weren't either.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
What do we want? A Game Developer's Union! When do we want it? Now!

...ahem. Anyways, just another example of the totally perfectly healthy gaming industry. Or not. If EA's not careful, they're going to run out of studios to take the axe to soon. And an EA without smaller developers to feed to the woodchipper is... well, it's not really EA at all, is it?

I'm not entirely sure that'll happen. The fired people will likely end up in new studios, and other studios are likely to form. After all, EA's current stock didn't come from nowhere.

Desert Punk:
snip

Oddly enough that comic still hasn't lost its relevance to this day. I wonder If someone else will take PapaEA for a walk someday.

OT: Is it just me or are we getting lay-off news from EA every day? Is it the new CEO's policy?

So much for the idea that these social games are the future and that there is a lot of money to be made of them....

 

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