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Electronic Arts Slashes Workforce 188

Dawn Kawamoto writes "Electronic Arts has been slashing jobs in recent weeks and according to Kotaku the size of the layoffs has reached as much as 10 percent of its workforce. The game maker says it's making the move to align its workforce closer to mobile and new technologies. For the console dinosaur that's trying to fight extinction by evolving into a bigger mobile player, this process has been a painful transition with a number of employees ending up in the tar pit - as well as its CEO."
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Electronic Arts Slashes Workforce

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday April 25, 2013 @08:20PM (#43551437) Homepage

    If it's a medical term, then it has to have an ICD-10 code.

    Closest I found was:

    W17.1XXA Fall into storm drain or manhole, initial encounter -

    but perhaps since EA has been screwing up for some time, we should use

    Code W17.1XXD, Fall into storm drain or manhole, subsequent encounter or perhaps
    Code 17.1XXS, Sequela of falling into storm hole or drain

  • Re:EA is burning (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @01:53AM (#43553031)

    Agreed. While the nature of DRM and content ownership might be off-putting to many people, it's really about the obtrusiveness and inconvenience that is the deal breaker for most people. If you can manage to deliver a service that actually is convenient and potentially cost saving to the consumer, the existence of DRM becomes an acceptable trade off. The issue with EA is the business model and mentality, rather than the simple existence of DRM. While Valve has made a business of providing free content updates and modding support for free 3rd party content, EA has shifted to a model that fleeces its customers where ever possible, limiting community support in an attempt to monetize whenever and where ever they can. They give you only just enough content for your dollar and not a penny more, under the assumption that they can then charge you extra in the future for features that would have been considered must-have only a few years prior.

  • Re:EA is burning (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Friday April 26, 2013 @02:24AM (#43553109) Journal

    You're right, of course.

    But there's another, related lesson in all of this; one that's more for businesses than consumers. The irony is, it's not a new lesson; it's one that has been well known for decades (centuries?), but which seems to have been forgotten recently in a good chunk of the gaming industry.

    That lesson is: "Your brands matter. Protect their value."

    I'm sure that on one level, EA understands this. In fact, I suspect a few parts of the company (mainly those who handle its cash-cow sports titles, which remain well-received and commercially successful) understand it very well. It spends a fortune on advertising. It's known to throw its weight around when major releases get lackluster reviews. But at the same time, it has worked very hard in recent years to take some of the most potent brand names in gaming and drag them through the mud. And then set fire to them. And then take a dump on the remains.

    A few examples: their acquisition of Bioware looked at the time like a bit of reputation control. Their name was in the crapper, so they tried to associate themselves with the halo surrounding one of the most highly regarded developers in the business. However, with Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3, that brand very quickly ended up tarnished. Now, views will vary on EA's responsibility for that (personal view; extensive in the case of Dragon Age 2, but Mass Effect 3's failings felt mostly inflicted by people within Bioware). It wasn't just the disappointing games either; the day-1 DLC, starting from the original Dragon Age onwards (and I'd never accuse that game of being disappointing) did a lot to erode consumer good will and cement a reputation for nickel-and-diming customers who had purchased already expensive games. In fact, many of the post-launch DLC packs for EA/Bioware games have been good value, but the reputational damage is done by the day-1 stuff.

    Or take Command & Conquer; one of the absolutely core franchises in the history of PC gaming. Actually, EA's history here is more complicated than it might appear. Westwood had itself done all it possibly could to tarnish this brand, with C&C2 and Red Alert 2, both of which felt years behind the curve at the point of release. EA's first move on acquiring the franchise was a bit odd and bewildering - sticking the name onto Generals - a title that clearly had little to do with Command & Conquer (which isn't to say that it was bad, just that it didn't look or feel like a C&C game). However, EA then seemed to buck its ideas up; C&C3 and Red Alert 3 were both, in their own ways, high quality titles and felt like a return to grace for the series. So what a pity that the usual EA self-destructive tendencies were allowed to take over; C&C4 was clearly rushed to release and was crippled by barely-functional always-online DRM. Since then, all we've seen has been some craptacular gestures towards the pay-to-win market.

    And then there's SimCity. I won't dwell on this at length; the discussion is live across many, many gaming sites at the moment. But again, EA has taken a loved and respected franchise and smeared it in excrement. In fact, in this case, EA's reputation was already bad enough that I didn't make the mistake of buying this title.

    The result of this? At one point, Bioware games - and games with the C&C or SimCity name on them - would have been guaranteed purchases for me (and, I suspect, for a lot of other people). As of now, though, I would sniff carefully around the reviews of a Bioware game, and wouldn't touch a C&C or a SimCity with a barge pole. The brand value has been substantially diminished or outright destroyed. There are other examples too; I loved the old (early 2000s) Medal of Honor games - but the first of EA's recent reboots was grim enough that I didn't touch its sequel and they've now canned the franchise again because a lot of other people clearly felt the same.

    Funny thing is, EA aren't (quite) the worst in the industry at this. Dire though they are, I don't th

  • Re:EA is burning (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @09:38AM (#43555347)

    OP is correct.

    Not having Steam's "DRM" is a negative point for me when I look at a game. Thankfully Steam allows me to add non-steam games into the library for my tracking, but I still can't delete, install, and re-patch them through Steam's "DRM". They also don't come with the Steam overlay. To be clear, I /want/ all of my games to have Steam's "DRM".

    If you don't understand why people like "DRM" that is providing clear benefits to them, but hate "DRM" that does nothing but provide clear detriment to them, you're just being intentionally obtuse. If you care about the risk of losing old games 10-15 years from now when Valve could theoretically lose both it's tremendous profits and the mountain of capital it has built up, and suddenly go out of business in a short period of time before releasing a rescue patch, that's fine. I don't pretend that risk doesn't exist, I've fully considered it, and I've decided I don't care about it. Steam has reduced game prices in the market so dramatically so that my purchasing concerns have more to do with time than with price. I can't play all the new games I want to play, I'm really not worried about being able to play the games I've already played.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.