Gaming Giant Announces Major Cancellation

Dennis Faas's picture

Despite its line of popular holiday sports titles and a few new favorites (including the critically-acclaimed Dead Space), even video game giant Electronic Arts has hit a patchy skid due to the slowing U.S. economy. The company recently revealed that it has cancelled plans to open a new studio in Vancouver, British Columbia.

For those of you unfamiliar with Electronic Arts, or EA, the company is by far the largest games publisher in the world. Franchises like Need for Speed, Burnout, Madden NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB routinely top sales, and in the case of NHL, ratings charts.

Despite the popularity of its games, even EA is feeling the burn. Company spokesman Colin Macrae recently admitted, "These are challenging times, they're uncertain times for our industry and across the board."

Electronic Arts has for a long time operated successfully out of Vancouver. It already owns two studios in the bustling and beautiful British Columbia city, including one downtown and another in nearby Burnaby, B.C. Some of EA's most popular franchises are created here, including the much-loved Need for Speed racing and FIFA soccer series. "We continue to be firmly rooted in Vancouver," Macrae said.

Plans to expand operations and bring more business to Vancouver will have to wait, however. Originally, EA intended to open a massive 20,000 square foot center in Vancouver's Yaletown district, facilitating quicker and easier production of its existing titles and even opening up opportunities for new ones.

The central reason for EA's cutbacks revolve around a slow holiday season. Despite the surprise hit Dead Space, a thriller following in the footsteps of Aliens or Resident Evil, overall sales are down. EA CEO John Riccitiello recently admitted, "While we saw significant improvement in the overall quality of our key products this year, we are disappointed that our holiday slate is not meeting our sales expectations." (Source:

"Given this performance and the uncertain economic environment, we are taking steps to reduce our cost structure and improve the profitability of our business," he added.

Despite the surprise success of Dead Space, EA's previously solid Need for Speed franchise -- made in Vancouver -- has fallen on tough times. Last year's Pro Street, followed by this year's Undercover, received poor reviews after years of praise for Underground. (Source:

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