More pc developers hit the pavement

(saw on shacknews) Westwood and EA Pacific are no more:

http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030129/media_electronicarts_earns_1.html

" On Wednesday the company also said it planned to consolidate studios in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Irvine, California into a central Los Angeles studio. Jenson said about 50 jobs would be cut as a result."

That’s EA for you. Jesus Christ.

You guys aren’t susprised? The economy sucks, and EA is trimming out some of their fat.

Off topic, but…

“EA also said it had registered 82,000 players for the long-awaited online debut of its flagship PC game “The Sims Online” from its Dec. 17 launch through Jan. 28.”

That has to be a HUGE disapointment considering it’s the Sims. You have to wonder if Star Wars (online) will be the MMORPG that draws in the masses?

No more Westwood in Los Vegas. What a weird thought. I’m an old school Westwood fan back to the Eye of the Beholder days.

Sad, sad news. The end of an era. I still hold a special place in my heart for Westwood.

R.I.P.

i thought this was a more apt reason:

“If you look at our performance, we ended the quarter with $1.2 billion in cash, so this is hardly a matter of needing cash per se,” Chief Financial Officer Warren Jenson told Reuters. “I’d put this in the category of good housekeeping. We’re going talk to everybody.”

Electronic Arts has been rumored as a potential suitor for the video game business of Vivendi Universal (NYSE:V - News), which Vivendi is said to be shopping for as much as $2 billion.

but i don’t work in the gaming industry.

is EA really going to make a play for the riches of Vivendi?

I bet some faceless EA exec is getting a big fat bonus for this little cost cutting exercise.

48% revenue increase and $250 million in net profits and they are “trimming the fat”?

AIM, EA hasn’t been hurt by the economy. Look at the results.

Gonna be interesting to see how much of Westwood is lost. Vegas to LA is a pretty dramatic move, experientially if not geographically. Gonna be a pretty dramatic lifestyle change for those guys, even if EA includes a decent COL adjustment.

You mean like doubling their salaries and buying them houses? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That’s a good one.

I suspect, instead, that anyone over the age of 30 will be jettisoned.

It’s not surprising considering EA’s overcautious history, it’s still just kind of staggering that it would stand to affect Westwood. Westwood is practically an institution in PC gaming, but in these times, we see how the mighty have fallen, or whatever.

If any online RPG brings in new players from outside of some kind of fanatical, D&D-playing uber-nerd fanbase, it will be Star Wars Galaxies.

I really, really, really doubt it. EA tends to bring in newcomers and form its own internal studios like EA Pacific, EA Canada, EA Sports Big, etc. etc… They’re not big on the “buy up and annex an existing company” strategy, at least not historically (I think the last company they bought out was Origin).

Duh, I meant Westwood. Westwood was the last company they bought out, and that was years ago.

Isn’t this the fallout from the Earth & Beyond debacle? Aren’t there like 10 people playing that?

It seems EA overextended itself with Sims products. They should never have released an expansion so close to the launch of the online version. And a PS2 version. Crikey.

By all appearances, that’s precisely what this is.

The fact that The Sims Online wasn’t a very good or well-planned game probably had more to do with the perceived “failure” of the game. The Sims is (allegedly) like, the bestselling game in the history of the universe or whatever, and turning it into a $10/month game seemed like a gold mine, so expectations were absurdly high, and weren’t met. It still did pretty good numbers, just not the astronomical ones they were expecting.

Duh, I meant Westwood. Westwood was the last company they bought out, and that was years ago.[/quote]

And they ruined both of them. Great.

Anonymous wrote, very incorrectly:
They’re not big on the “buy up and annex an existing company” strategy, at least not historically (I think the last company they bought out was Origin).

Actually, EA’s bought out a bunch of companies.

Maxis. Origin. Westwood. Bullfrog.

EA Canada was originally Distinctive Software, creators of Gran Prix Circuit, the first two Test Drive games, and 4D Sports Boxing.

EA Vancouver (closed in 02) was originally Manley & Associates, bought in 1997.

EA bought Dreamworks Interactive in 2000. That’s the current EA LA office.

EA bought Pogo.com in 2001. (Now there was a wise investment,eh?)

EA bought Kesmai a year after they bought Westwood. EA bought PlayNation at about the same time.

EA’s also purchase many smaller developers over the years. In the first half of the 90s they acquired a number of small companies in the first PC game industry consolidation.

In fact, almost all of the studios outside of EA San Mateo started life as other companies.

You, Mr. No Real Name, are thoroughly and completely wrong. :-)

I’m not so sure I’d say EA ruined Westwood. Westwood seemed to do a pretty good job of that on its own. Think of every non-C&C game, and how much they spent on development and marketing. They threw cash around like nothing; why did they film cutscenes for Red Alert 2? Think that ate into the profits? And why, oh why, make Earth & Beyond? Do you think it was EA saying, “Hey guys, could you please make us an expansive online game, please? Oh, and spend as much as possible on a film studio in your Vegas office.”

I worked at Egghead Software in Las Vegas from 95-97 and the guys from Westwood who came in (8-10 of the devs, artists, etc) were real dickheads. I’m not going to cry too hard if their jobs get axed. I’m not happy either, but I’m damn sure not unhappy.

“why did they film cutscenes for Red Alert 2?”

Because they spent big bucks to build their own blue screen studio in Vegas so they could film all that “high quality” FMV themselves. :)