10 per cent of workforce to go as part of $120m cost savings; Black Box studio first to close

EA to lay off 1,000 staff

Electronic Arts has announced further details of its recently-announced restructuring plan which will see a reduction in its global headcount.

1,000 staff – or around 10 per cent of the EA workforce – are to go as the publisher consolidates its development resources around the world.

The move will call for the ‘consolidation or closure’ of at least nine of its studios and/or publishing offices.

Responding to rumours from last week, the firm confirmed that EA’s Black Box is the first to be consolidated. The Vancouver-based developer of Need For Speed and Skate will now be amalgamated into its offices in nearby Burnaby, British Columbia.

It’s not yet known which other EA sites will be affected – the publisher will only confirm that the moves will be finalised by March 31st 2009.

The new statement increases by four per cent the six per cent workforce cut that EA had announced at the end of October.

EA said the move would save it $120m annually, but at the same time incur costs of around $55-65 million over the next several quarters.

The statement from EA added: "EA is implementing a plan to narrow its product portfolio to focus on hit games with higher margin opportunities. The company remains committed to taking creative risks, investing in new games, leading the industry in the growing mobile and online businesses, and delivering high-quality games to consumers."

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