FIFA, Need for Speed studios suffer layoffs, to give social games a shot

The Sims Social SimoleonsHey man, when things don't work out, there's always social games. Veteran games publisher EA will take that approach with its Canadian studios after letting go of "a smaller number" of its staff. Vancouver's EA Canada and Black Box, known for staples like the FIFA and Need for Speed series, respectively, will reorganize to focus more on social games and the free-to-play craze.

"EA in Vancouver is transforming its studio to align with EA's transformation to high-growth digital formats, including online, social gaming and free-to-play. Employees in our BC studio are learning new skills and working on digital games and services, and there are many examples," an EA spokesperson told IndustryGamers. "Developed at the EA SPORTS studio in Burnaby, the FIFA Soccer franchise represents the cutting edge of AAA gaming integrated with multiplatform extensions and online features. The Need for Speed World team in Burnaby is leading the digital transformation with 11 million registered players. As the BC studio makes this transformation, a small number of employees are being impacted while most others are being retrained, redeployed and rolling-on to new projects."

This news follows an earnings call in which EA revealed that it's working on five different social games based around core game franchises. However, citing the climate of cloning in the social games world, EA won't let out as many details prior to each release as before in fear of competitors creating their own responses. With The Sims Social in steady decline, perhaps EA looks to other studios to help create its next Facebook mega hit.

Which of EA's major game properties do you think would work best as a Facebook game? Does EA have a chance at reviving The Sims Social? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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