EA plans massive layoffs

November 10, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, PC, Playstation, Xbox

Electronic Arts

After EA’s September financial report showed a loss of $391 million, it was clear they’d have to take some action. The layoffs announced recently will involve around 1500 employees, 900 from game development. EA head John Riccitiello also confirmed the cancellation of 12 games, all previously unannounced. The cuts will save an estimated $100 million a year.

“Laying off employees and closing facilities is never pleasant,” John Riccitiello said. “We have a lot of compassion for those impacted but these cuts are essential for transforming our company. Electronic Arts has a core slate of games label and sports franchises that we will iterate on a either annual or bi-annual basis. And I think you know what those major titles are – all of them are selling or have sold in their most recent edition 2 million units or more. After that, we’ve got The Sims and Hasbro, and frankly anything that doesn’t measure up to looking like it can pencil out to be in very high profit contributor and high unit seller got cut from our title slate from this point going forward.”

The other 9.9.99 – Peter Moore on the Sega Dreamcast

September 9, 2009 by Rob Knight  
Filed under News, Nintendo, Playstation, Xbox

Dreamcast Header

On the day that the media focuses on The Beatles, be it back catalogue, Rock Band or the ongoing will they won’t they iTunes speculation, current EA Sports head Peter Moore has spoken on his blog about the launch of the Sega Dreamcast ten years ago to the day in the US.

Despite the spectacularly fast fall from grace that the console suffered when Sega swiftly pulled the plug and ran away from hardware production, the machine had a fantastic range of quality titles that are still praised in gaming circles today (Shenmue/Shenmue 2, Sega Sports’ 2K series (after EA Sports famously refused to support the console), Soul Calibur, Jet Set Radio & Virtua Tennis)

Also and of course most importantly for today’s internet connected generation of consoles the Sega Dreamcast was the first console to include internet functionality. On this Mr Moore says,

Isao Okawa, the Chairman of Sega Enterprises and the driving force behind the Dreamcast…had a vision that a game console, combined with the power of the internet, could bring people together in ways that were previously unimaginable. He didn’t live to see that vision come to fruition, and his beloved Dreamcast couldn’t survive to play a role in the powerful world of connected gaming we all enjoy today, but it certainly lit the spark, and that we should never forget…

This is certainly the case and you have to feel that the success enjoyed today by Xbox Live, PSN and Wii owe a debt of gratitude to this great but never forgotten console