EA cans 12 games, lays off 1500 staff

Buys developer Playfish for $300 million.

Electronic Arts has announced plans to make 1500 employees redundant by April of next year.

The company reckons the plan will save at least $100 million annually. Around 900 positions in game development will go, along with 500 in publishing and 100 at corporate level. According to Gamasutra, studios affected will include EA Redwood Shores, Tiburon, Mythic and Black Box.

The news came as EA published a financial report for the July to September quarter, posting a net loss of $391 million - an increase of 26 per cent compared to the same period in 2008.

"Laying off employees and closing facilities is never pleasant," said bossman John Riccitiello. "We have a lot of compassion for those impacted but these cuts are essential for transforming our company."

Riccitiello has also confirmed that EA has cancelled around 12 unannounced projects. "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," he said.

"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."

All that cash EA saves as a result of the cuts will come in handy. The company has also announced it's buying Playfish, a developer of social network games, for $300 million. The firm's previous work includes Pet Society, Restaurant City and Country Story, and more than 150 million Playfish games have been installed by gamers around the world.

For more details, visit GamesIndustry.biz.

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