Speculation about studioâ??s closure rife in the wake of EAâ??s job cuts

EA Black Boxâ??s fate uncertain

Various sources across the industry are speculating that EA’s Black Box studio in Canada may soon be closed.

The possibility of EA abandoning the studio comes in the wake of news last week that the publisher’s plans to open a new studio in the Vancouver area where Black Box is based have been withdrawn.

Only this month EA revealed that is to increase the 600 planned job-cuts, and recently the publisher lowered its expectations for the fiscal 2009.

Rumours suggest that Black Box’s two main franchises, Skate and Need For Speed, will be moved to the nearby Burnaby studio. Speculation from unnamed sources also suggests that because of the less than favourable nature of reviews of Need For Speed: Undercover, which also suffered relatively poor sales compared to previous iterations of the series, the status of the once chart-dominating racing canon is also to be downscaled, or, according to early reports, canned all together.

EA is yet to confirm or deny any details. Develop is awaiting an official statement.

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