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Electronic Arts Kills EA Casual Label

| 6 Nov 2008 19:44
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In the wake of last week's cuts at Electronic Arts, the publishing giant has announced that its EA Casual label is being closed down.

Little more than a year after EA created its casual gaming division, the company revealed that EA Casual, along with its Hasbro titles, will be merged into the Sims label. As part of that change, Kathy Vrabeck, who came to EA from Activision to take over as president of the division, will be leaving the company.

"We've learned a lot about casual entertainment in the past two years, and found that casual gaming defies a single genre and demographic," the company said in a statement to Kotaku. "With the departure of Kathy Vrabeck, EA is reorganizing to integrate casual games - development and marketing - into other divisions of our business. We are merging our Casual Studios, Hasbro partnership, and Casual marketing organization with The Sims Label to be a new Sims and Casual Label, where there is a deep compatibility in the product design, marketing and demographics."

"In the days and weeks ahead, we will make further announcements on the reporting structure for the other businesses in the Casual Label including EA Mobile, Pogo, Media Sales and Online Casual Initiatives," the statement continued. "Those businesses remain growth priorities for EA and deserve strong support in a group that will compliment their objectives."

Analysts had praised the creation of the EA Casual label when it was unveiled in 2007, but Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets may have spoken more truth than he realized when he said, "Although EA has yet to announce specific franchises and licenses to be developed and published by the casual games division, we note that the company's highly profitable Sims or Pogo units could serve as a model for organizing development studios by genre and product rather than by geography." Good call, Colin.

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