No Happy Holidays for 500+ Laid Off by EA

October 31, 2008 -

Citing losses and difficult economic news, game publishing giant Electronic Arts announced yesterday that it was laying off 6% of its work force.

That's more than 500 employees.

As reported by VentureBeat:

During the quarter, EA relied on the staple of its sports franchise, Madden NFL 09, which sold 4.5 million copies. Spore sold two million units. That’s a respectable amount, and the title is sure to sell steadily into the future to mass market audiences. But it’s not the mega-hit that some had hoped for. Another big title was Warhammer Online... EA sold 1.2 million copies...

[EA CEO John] Riccitiello said in a conference call that the postponement of the Harry Potter movie and its accompanying game was a big reason for the shortfall...

In an investor's note issued moments ago, Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter was critical of EA management, while still recommending the publisher's stock as a strong buy:

EA management was somewhat aloof during [yesterday's] earnings call. With the stock hovering near a seven-year low, management continued its recent history of disappointment, and spent an inordinate amount of time sowing seeds of fear about the potential for a tepid holiday sales season. EA’s share price in after hours trading reflects that many investors have abandoned hope...

 

management has demonstrated an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the eyes of investors, and we think that these old habits will take a long time to die...

Seeking Alpha has a transcript of yesterday's conference call.

GP: We'd have to agree with Pachter. While John Riccitiello started strong when he returned to EA last year, in 2008 we've witnessed a series of embarrassments take place on his watch. From the lengthy, abortive attempt to seize Take-Two to the Spore DRM debacle and Ricitiello's subsequent insult to those who protested, it hasn't been pretty.

Regarding Spore, while it has done well at launch (thanks to the hype) the game is simply not going to be a Sims-like cash cow in the long run. It's not as well done as The Sims and lacks the feminine appeal which sustained The Sims over the long haul.


Comments

Re: No Happy Holidays for 500+ Laid Off by EA

You are quite correct. In fact I'll go further on your comment. Their families will be the happiest ones! Worked to the bone and wives and kids are just an afterthought to deadlines. The wives of EA employees started a site to bitch about EA!

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PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
 

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