EA: Geneva move on

The switch to Switzerland was first predicted by MCV in July, but EA had remained tight-lipped until last week, when executive vice president of international publishing Gerhard Florin (pictured) spoke for the first time about the reasons behind the decision.

He talked of a desire to be in the geographical heart of Europe, even if, in commercial and cultural terms, many would see Geneva as an organ of lesser importance.

“Maybe, but maybe we’ve previously been looked at, by the 24 international offices that aren’t in this country, as being a little UK-centric. What we want to be is a truly international division, so we’ve moved to a more neutral territory, possibly the most neutral territory of all.”

Northern region boss Paul Jackson, meanwhile, pointed out that only 10 per cent of the 850 Chertsey jobs were being moved to Geneva, and strenuously denied that the move was a blow to the UK industry or the status of the Chertsey campus.

“The UK is still the creative hub in Europe. It’s the home of the Northern Region and UK teams and the studio here will continue to grow.”

Florin also discussed the personnel shuffles after the departure of EA stalwarts Don Mattrick and Bruce Macmillan. Both quit to pursue unspecified “other opportunities”.

Their departures have been covered internally. Paul Lee becomes global studio boss. Frank Gibeau, heads up publishing in the US, while Florin takes all other territories.

He offered: “I think the fact that people have been promoted internally says a lot about the strength in depth at EA and it’s preferable to appointing from outside. It’s time that the next generation at EA got off the bench and step up to the plate.”

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