EA expands layoff plans, announces studio closings

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It’s been a bad week for businesses, particularly in the gaming industry, with studio Free Radical shutting down, Midway laying off a quarter of its workforce and now mega-publisher Electronic Arts expanding the scope of its previously announced layoffs. The company, which had said in October it plans to reduce its work force by 6 percent – or about 600 people – said today it will now cut 10 percent of its workforce and close at least nine studio and publishing locations.

The company hoping to save around $120 million in annual costs, after incurring charges of $55 to $65 million as a result of severance packages and other reorganization-related expenses. EA also said it plans to slim its product line by cancelling several unspecified games, which presumably includes the Need for Speed series, as it focuses on its more profitable hit games. At the same time, however, the company said it “remains committed” to taking creative risks and investing in new games.

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