EA Partners closing down - Report

Multiple sources suggest EA to close its third-party publishing label.

EA Partners, EA's publishing arm designed to bring third-party games to market, is said to be closing down.

Multiple sources reported the closure to Game Informer, though EA is yet to make an official statement on the matter.

There are currently two games waiting to be published under the EA Partners label: Insomniac's upcoming team-based shooter Fuse, and Respawn Entertainment's currently unannounced project. Both of these will reportedly be unaffected.

Over the past few years EA Partners has attached itself to some high-profile titles, including Left 4 Dead, Portal 2, Bulletstorm, Shadows of the Damned, Crysis, Rock Band, Brutal Legend, and ill-fated MMO APB.

But the label was also involved with the long-running struggle of open-world RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a big-budget game which lost money and triggered the closure of developer 38 Studios. Whether EA is owed money by 38 Studios is currently unknown, though the state of Rhode Island is currently in the process of taking legal action against 38 Studios' boss and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

Game Informer points out that the EA Partners label was a relatively lean department at EA, employing around 50 people.

EA, however, has struggled with disappointing financials during its last financial year and the departure of its long-serving CEO John Riccitiello.

Written By

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Want the latest news about Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning?

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Follow

Discussion

122 comments
reanor2
reanor2

EA needs to give developers more freedom on how they spend their money and STOP PUSHING THEM AROUND!

DESTROYRS_F8
DESTROYRS_F8

imagine if EA starts using kickstarter to publish/develop AAA titles...

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

I really liked this part of EA. Really the only thing that stopped them from being like Activision. Sucks to see it go.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Lost all interest in Fuse, but I'm interested in seeing what Respawn has been working on.

fullxtent
fullxtent

I hope EA goes bankrupt and sells off all its IP to a publisher who understands the industry and its fans. I only feel sorry for the employees that are going to get laid off...

TrueGB
TrueGB

That program was the one good thing EA has done.

Kirintar
Kirintar

I thought Crysis 2 was awesome, but with ho-hum multiplayer. Seems EA was listening and made Crytek focus entirely on the graphics and multiplayer with Crysis 3.

Wallie911
Wallie911

Crysis 1 - Briliant!
Crysis 2 - So so
Crysis 3 - Steamy pile of doggy poo

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

Remember the Crysis 2 commercial? Brilliant and very well made. Crysis 3 commercial? A typical cheesy and stupid commercial. The overall Crysis 3 game is amazing though

Armin_Devil_PS3
Armin_Devil_PS3

I am a fan of EA games but unfortunately EA only thinks about getting more and more money via anyway they can and thats why they fail sometimes. and I wonder with this amount of money they have and all these opportunities why they just ruin their best game titles like CRYSIS ....!? Im happy they couldnt destroy Mass Effect series.

Bregzeinkul
Bregzeinkul

Did they scrap whichever part of the company that has to do with customer service yet?

kohle36
kohle36

Why fund 3rd party development when you can just buy the studio, put it on origin and milk the franchise to death?

blackothh
blackothh

yay! Keep firing people and closing down things, you are well on your way down a path of redemption!

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

yea wouldve figured. i heard a lot of the problems stem with that ea didn't give the same attention to their third party dealings as they did with their first party stuff.

realscarygary
realscarygary

I think we are not far from getting the final verdict on EA's role on the gaming market. With digital publishing and distribution, once the smaller studios find new ways to market their products at a reasonable cost they will nolonger be forced into contracts with companies such as EA. I think we will see that to some extent with the PS4 and "Xbox720" that would be distributing their games within their cloud based networks to a much larger degree than of today.

Taegre
Taegre

EA Partners was actually an example of EA doing something right. They put EA marketing muscle in publishing games without buying up the developers or breathing down their necks. I hope a closure isn't a sign of them completely abandoning that approach.

deathblow3
deathblow3

i kind of like this as i dont buy EA games now games i want can be published by people i buy from. now i dont have to worry about missing out.

toecutter00
toecutter00

I love the trailer for Crysis 3. It completely misrepresents the game in every possible way. In actuality, it is a slow, methodical shooter with a very dry, serious sci-fi story. Great game, just  bad advertising.

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

EA thinks real games are a dead end, and is refocusing entirely on social games, mobile games, and microtransactions. EA partners was too cool to fit into that profile.

Another publishing company will fill the gap, though, because games that make money will always find someone to back them.

megaspiderweb09
megaspiderweb09

EA is going through re-structuring, while this kind of change tends to look bad. It is usually a good thing in the long run for both the company and the industry, think about it as re-schuffling cards. 

007kt
007kt

this is sad :(  EA may not be best at dev games but it is the top publishing company(marketing and distribution etc) they have created brands like Crysis,left 4 dead. we may miss innovative & creative ideas like Crysis in future if companies like EA don't fund or market third-party games

kagento
kagento

I really don't get it. It's EA ok... but is this news that gamers should be happy about? Look at some of the titles EA Partners has helped create and you will see they did take a risk there as a publisher. Keep calm and think, people!

gix47
gix47

EA is just making a bigger focus on mobile games and are just trimming 

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

I would not like to see EA go down. I'd rather they go back to the company they once were, with games and gamers at its core.

They could look at what Sony is doing with the PS4 and all the good it is doing to their image and learn some lessons.

SteelCurtainX
SteelCurtainX

@PSYCHOV3N0M Yeah uh... this.. I am guy #1 when it comes to call of duty. :(

 Also, I feel really bad for the developers at the end of the video, especially Criterion. 

Criterion - Makes a great Burnout game in 2008, then follows up with a "meh" Need for Speed 2010 remake and a sh*tty NFS: Most Wanted 2012 reboot.  Both rushed. 

 Ugh...

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@fullxtent This is the rub of the whole thing.  If EA goes down, A LOT of people are going to lose their jobs.

In an economy like this, it is going to be a challenge for the industry to absorb all that.  There is nothing good that can come from EA as it stands now, and there is a lot of pain and dislocation that will happen when they go down.

We can only hope that the people who would lose in that situation gain resolution quickly by landing somewhere else.

There is A LOT of talent at that company.

It's a pity it's being misused and squandered the way it is.

The people that deserve to lose the most are the upper management causing all the problems, but you and I both know that won't happen.

Incubus420
Incubus420

@Armin_Devil_PS3 I agree I have loved EA for year, but all things must change eventually.  Interested to see what they do next gen.  


blackothh
blackothh

@kohle36 i believe you have it in the wrong order. they kill a franchise and then try to milk it.

leonA0
leonA0

@blackothh They were voted as the worst gaming company ever. they gota live up to their reputation XD

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@Taegre One Can Hope this Closure Is A Sign that the Closure of EA Itself is not too far down the Road.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@deathblow3 Or you could simply support the games you like by buying the games you like, no matter who is publishing them. One customer more or less doesn't mean a thing to them, so you're the only one affected if you decide not buy games you (think you'll) like because they're published by EA.

blackothh
blackothh

@toecutter00 i look to youtube now to decide if i want to play a game or not. its hard to misrepresent a game with a letsplay.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@toecutter00 I blame the ad agency. I'd like to research and see who actually did the ad for them.

I played the first two, and actually enjoyed the second one.  Thanks to your comment, which serves as my reminder to pick up Crysis 3 now that the price has dropped.

deathblow3
deathblow3

@007kt lol they created non of those games they only publlished and or back them

ApocaLeepse
ApocaLeepse

@oldschoolvandal EA would never do that though. They're far too stubborn. Surely you heard about Moore basically blaming "Madden NFL whiners and homophobes" for winning Worst Company award twice? That's one of the reasons why people hate the company so much, because they for some reason just can't accept that they made mistakes. They're like the people in RPGs who have low speech skills but still try to pass speech checks anyway.

Kayweg
Kayweg

@oldschoolvandal Personally i would like to see EA go down. Not going to happen of course. Besides. i'm sure there are a lot of good and decent folks who'd loose their jobs, i'm not wishing that on anyone.

The second best solution to me would be EA getting out of console and PC gaming alltogether, and focussing entirely on mobile and social gaming.

That way i'd be rid of them for good, as i do neither of those.

Setho10
Setho10

@TheWatcher000 @Kirintar EA doesn't own Crytek or the Crysis IP. The whole point of EA Partners was to publish games from smaller developers without taking control of the development or the IP. Although people can blame EA for a hell of a lot of things, Crysis is not one of them. They lost a lot of money supporting Crytek.

blackothh
blackothh

@TheWatcher000 @Taegre whats beyond my comprehension is that all they need to do is hire some gamers in upper management. they cant possibly be that oblivious to how games should be made.

kohle36
kohle36

@Hurvl @deathblow3 And for every player straight boycotting them, there's a handful more avoiding them because of the litany of inconveniences they force their customers into. I can think of at least half a dozen EA games that I would have probably played (but can totally live without) that I avoided simply because I don't want to have to create a separate EA account on my console; I don't want Origin on my PC; and I don't want to jump through whatever other hoops they may have erected this time around.

Inconveniencing and pissing off your potential customers is a shitty business strategy, even for a monopoly (which they aren't - though that doesn't stop them from acting like one). Frankly I can't wait for them to keel over and release all those IPs they're just squatting on.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

@Hurvl @deathblow3 They live on selling games and we don't live on playing games... So I think that they are way more affected than we are when we don't buy their shit

deathblow3
deathblow3

@Hurvl @deathblow3 no if i want it bad enough i will just get it used. EA gets nothing i win. and its not just me that thinks this way they lose because we are legion. and regardless of this good games will still get made EA is not the end source for gaming.

007kt
007kt

created a brand like crysis, yea & not dev

marketing is as imp as developing


jeremy-
jeremy-

@msfan1289 @oldschoolvandal If by new you mean mobile game publishers and companies like zynga, then wtf. I agree with OP. All the money is in billions of mobile devices, AAA is dying a slow death and every bit counts.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@ZoTrAcK We, as in 1000's of people, affect them. You, as in a single person, is more insignificant than a piss in the sEA. That's what I was talking about, strength in numbers also means that a single person's purchases doesn't matter to the big companies, because they're only one person.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@deathblow3 That's actually a pretty smart way of both denying EA money for their games and still getting to play them. Smarter than most people seem to be who hate EA with a passion. I don't keep track on publishers much, I simply get info on a game and if it's good enough I'll buy it.