Electronic Arts to close studio in downtown Vancouver

Just one week after Electronic Arts Inc. trashed its plans to build a new studio in Yaletown, the video-game giant has announced it will shut down its Black Box facility in downtown Vancouver.

The development teams and game franchises produced at the Black Box studio will be moved to the EA Canada studio in Burnaby, according to a press release issued by the Redwood City, California-based company this morning (December 19).

The company said the Black Box studio's move and the facility's closure are part of a restructuring plan that will save it about $120 million annually but result in charges of $55 million to $65 million.

The plan will result in approximately 1,000 people, or 10 percent of EA's worldwide workforce, losing their jobs—mostly by March 31, 2009. That's up from the six-percent staff cuts announced by the company on October 30.

"EA is implementing a plan to narrow its product portfolio to focus on hit games with higher margin opportunities," the press release said.

Black Box is among the at least nine studio and publishing sites slated to be closed or consolidated with other offices.

More than 350 artists, engineers, designers, and producers work at Black Box, according to the studio's Web site.

As of March 31, EA had 9,000 employees worldwide.

Yesterday, the publicly traded company's shares closed at US$16.76 on the NASDAQ stock exchange. They have traded as high as US$17.63 today. EA's share price is down from its 52-week high of US$60.35.

The company, founded in 1982, released Left 4 Dead, Mirror's Edge, and Need for Speed: Undercover, among other games, last month.



David Nugent

Jun 28, 2009 at 12:26am


This article says that the company released Left 4 Dead.

EA was in NO WAY affiliated with Left 4 Dead.

Left 4 Dead was made entirely by Valve, and close company Turtle Rock Studios.

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