EA has confirmed that a number of staff at the Canadian studio responsible for Need For Speed: The Run and FIFA 12, among other titles, have been made redundant.

The publisher wouldn't put an exact figure on how many employees are affected.

The cuts are a result of restructuring at the Vancouver office which will see its studio in nearby Burnaby - which NFS: The Run team EA Black Box is part of - shift focus to digital formats.

"EA in Vancouver is transforming its studio to align with EA's transformation to high-growth digital formats, including online, social gaming and free-to-play," a spokesperson for the publisher told Eurogamer.

"Employees in our BC studio are learning new skills and working on digital games and services, and there are many examples. Developed at the EA Sports studio in Burnaby, the FIFA Soccer franchise represents the cutting edge of AAA gaming integrated with multiplatform extensions and online features.

"The Need for Speed World team in Burnaby is leading the digital transformation with 11 million registered players. As the BC studio makes this transformation, a small number of employees are being impacted while most others are being retrained, redeployed and rolling-on to new projects."

EA declined to comment on whether the Black Box brand is no more.

Need For Speed: The Run left EA's garage in November 2011 to tepid critical reaction.

"Somewhere in all these ideas is a fast and furious cross-country sprint with a neat back-story, clever structure and great technology," read Tom Bramwell's 5/10 Need For Speed: The Run review.

"For whatever reason, though, EA Black Box couldn't find it, and instead The Run is a fractured, painful slog and its short, sharp races do little justice to the concept."

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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