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In the business world only the strong survive. Or maybe that’s in the Thunderdome. But when it comes to EA, 47 studios enter…46 leave. Rumors began circulating about the closure of EA Chicago, the studio behind the popular Def Jam and Fight Night series’. As a part of planned restructuring within the entire company, EA has confirmed that the memo that Kotaku broke the news about is true. EA Chicago is no more, effective immediately.
While I personally don’t like to see people lose their jobs, having gone through an ordeal in my family as a child when it happened to my father, EA President Frank Gibeau made the company’s motives clear in an internal memo. Essentially, EA Chicago was not living up to its end of the profit bargain. ”Within the EA Games Label, we are committed to running each franchise and facility as a city/state, teams with unique creative identities as well as responsibility for product quality, ship dates and profitability.” It would seem that because of EA Chicago’s penchant for overspending without profits to show for the expense just doesn’t work for EA. I can get behind that.
There are 150+ employees who have an uncertain future now. EA has said they are offering relocation opportunity to some at the office, and help for others in search of a new place to make games. Among them is Kudo Tsunoda, the man behind the location’s most popular titles. His future within EA currently remains unclear. Fight Night has already been moved to the EA Canada studio as of the last game, but Def Jam remains up in the air. Being popular franchises, and EA having the resources available, I’m sure the IP’s will continue on with nary a hitch.
As soon as we get word on official plans for the employees or EA Chicago’s IP’s we’ll pass that info along. For now, we at Blend Games remain hopeful that all the talented people at EA Chicago land on their feet.