EA sacks Madden, NCAA staffers

<i>Orlando Sentinel</i> reports not even cash-cow farm EA Tiburon has escaped the megapublisher's payroll reductions; football franchises and Tiger Woods PGA to remain at studio.

When Electronic Arts announced that it was laying off 1,000 employees--or 10 percent of its staff--many presumed that its Tiburon studio would be untouched. Located in plush offices outside Orlando, Florida, the developer makes the Madden NFL and NCAA Football series, EA Sports' exclusive--and lucrative--professional and college football sims. It also crafts Tiger Woods PGA Tour, the popular and feature-laden pro golf series.

Unfortunately, according to the Orlando Sentinel, not even EA Tiburon has escaped its parent's cost-cutting unscathed. This evening, EA government-affairs chief Craig Hagen told the newspaper that a number of the studio's 650-700 employees had been laid off. Much like recently downsized Sega's tight-lipped reps, Hagen declined to disclose the scale of the cuts, saying only that it would not overly affect the studio's productivity.

"The economy is affecting every industry, including ours, and we need to tighten our belts and reduce our operating costs," Hagen told the Sentinel. "Tiburon remains one of the flagship studios for EA Sports and will continue to be the home base for the leading sports franchises like Madden, Tiger, and NCAA Football."

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157 comments
Redthing
Redthing

Well, most people find enjoyment in other people's misery. Lots of people watch shows like "Worlds Scariest Crashes" or some show similar to that. In fact, some people I know watch NASCAR just for the crashes. As for people losing their job, yeah, that sucks.

subrosian
subrosian

I find it incredibly odd that people here are cheering job losses and economic hardships simply because they want to see SEGA make a football game again. I mean, really? You're okay with people losing their homes and the economy going further into the toilet, so long as you get your game? - The vultures need to stop circling - EA isn't going anywhere, and taking joy over other's suffering is simply sick. For shame.

ZonaBoy89
ZonaBoy89

someone explain how NFL2k5 was better than Madden, the players looked and moved like stick figures, the onlything NFL2k had on Madden was the ESPN presentations and 1/2 show, shich was all just replayed highhlights every week with different teams, NFL 2k was good but not great, im sure u people are Just EA haters, and im sure if NFL2k series was still around Madden wouuld still be on top. Nfl2k would of been better then madden but every year i bought it their was a major glitch in it. Like the first year for dreamcast, i would loose my season after week 6 it would just go away from my memmory unit. Then on the last one with that queer on the cover pretending to be an eagle I couldnt draft players, it would just freeze up. I wasnt going to buy madden that year and i didnt untill i finished my first season and seen that crap. That being said i wish their was some competition for madden so them dudes would get on their game and make major upgrades. Oh and to those hoping EA folds your either not from the states or your just that retarded and dont realise when companies go under its another blow to the ecconomy. Grow up, video game publishers arent that important in the grand scheme of things. Not knocking video games, i love em but i do have them in the propper perspective Thats what im sayin all 2K really had was the ESPN halftime and post game shows thats the only thing they had that madden didnt. I do agree Madden should change every year but how much can you really change a FOOTBALL game? Other than adding post game and halftime shows? The gameplay is awesome, the online leagues are great the only reason i can see that ppl hate on this game is cuz ppl like me always smoke them in an online game cuz they have no skill whatsoever

Cabal23
Cabal23

Well being that Madden hasn't really changed, all they need is a data entry person to change the names and stats of players. No wonder they are cleaning house.

Squeets
Squeets

It's not a good sign for gaming industry when the largest and most powerful game development firm on the planet has to nearly shutdown one of its best, if not its best studio (as far as money making is concerned)...

LooseChangepor
LooseChangepor

someone explain how NFL2k5 was better than Madden, the players looked and moved like stick figures, the onlything NFL2k had on Madden was the ESPN presentations and 1/2 show, shich was all just replayed highhlights every week with different teams, NFL 2k was good but not great, im sure u people are Just EA haters, and im sure if NFL2k series was still around Madden wouuld still be on top. Nfl2k would of been better then madden but every year i bought it their was a major glitch in it. Like the first year for dreamcast, i would loose my season after week 6 it would just go away from my memmory unit. Then on the last one with that queer on the cover pretending to be an eagle I couldnt draft players, it would just freeze up. I wasnt going to buy madden that year and i didnt untill i finished my first season and seen that crap. That being said i wish their was some competition for madden so them dudes would get on their game and make major upgrades. Oh and to those hoping EA folds your either not from the states or your just that retarded and dont realise when companies go under its another blow to the ecconomy. Grow up, video game publishers arent that important in the grand scheme of things. Not knocking video games, i love em but i do have them in the propper perspective

Jab7604
Jab7604

someone explain how NFL2k5 was better than Madden, the players looked and moved like stick figures, the onlything NFL2k had on Madden was the ESPN presentations and 1/2 show, shich was all just replayed highhlights every week with different teams, NFL 2k was good but not great, im sure u people are Just EA haters, and im sure if NFL2k series was still around Madden wouuld still be on top.

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

Flagrant false advertising... I was hoping for an end to the uber-boring madden and ncaa football annual regurgitations. It would be better as a once every two or three year release.

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

EA is going bankrupt and they very well could lose thier Madden license soon. Don't be suprised if Sega suddenly is able to buy thier license from EA.

marklovesbaseba
marklovesbaseba

after this years amdden im never buying and EA game again... none at all.. by far the worst game publisher on the planet they dont fix anything...... like there lord of the rings game that just came out, it was terrible and was really just battle for middle earth zoomed in

ttime32
ttime32

I never bought a Madden game until Madden 09 and it was ok. I was always a fan of the other series out there. I had NFL Gameday '98 and '01, then switched over to ESPN 2k3 and 2k5. I never really understood the idea of getting a new one or making a new one every year, so I usually only bought every other year. Without any other football franchises out there Madden is ok but it isn't that great. They should just release one ever two years and include roster updates, maybe even charge $5 or $10 for them, anythings cheaper than buying a new game.

djkaos
djkaos

And yes, the NFL2K series was WAY better than Madden, in my opinion, until EA bought exclusive NFL rights. I hope 2K makes a comeback, it would be good to have 2 different football games competing and give us gamers a choice.

djkaos
djkaos

I agree with what others have said about Madden. There really is no point in it coming out every year if all they are doing is minor changes. They should change the franchise entirely, or move it to a 2 year schedule, or have downloadable new content that updates the game yearly (not just rosters) instead of releasing a full retail version every single year.

icym
icym

Wow, one of the few places I would think, because of Madden, is steady against the recession got hit too. Whats next? Blizzard? Valve?

Dreski83
Dreski83

On the Madden/NFL tip, hopefully they stop dumping major money into silly Madden-Nation grand prizes and unfair exclusive rights to the NFL franchise. Best wishes to the laid off EA employees, but I see a big chance for 2K to take back the football respect they earned just a few years ago ;)

wwonka666
wwonka666

Guess they figured out you can slap a new year on the same game at a reduced cost.

ZonaBoy89
ZonaBoy89

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

Hate to see anyone lose their jobs, but to tell you the truth, they wasn't doing that great a job. Madden have sucked for a very long time, and NCAA wasn't that great this year.

CTifer
CTifer

I'm with you mrzero1982pt2! Who wants to play football every year? Seriously? I want to see: Madden 2010 which looks like Madden 09, but now you can shoot fireballs with your QB if complete 10 passes in a row. Or a HB that needs to be hit by 7 people before he goes down if he accumulates a 10ypc average or better. Screw this football crap!

TimDigit
TimDigit

I feel very sorry for the losses of jobs work and creative talent the industry is going through, but this report is pathetically misleading, please don't do that GS, madden wasn't sacked the franchise is still going.

ZonaBoy89
ZonaBoy89

Thats sucks everytime turn on the news somebody is losing their jobs or their homes or even both sometimes. I cant believe even Tiburon is cutting jobs considering they have made the best-selling sports game out. the people who sit and whine how madden doesnt change every year should probably just stop playing it cuz there not good at it and never will be just like when they were in high school

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

im not even gonna go yay for people who lost their jobs, but maybe now ea will begin to work on games which isnt the same version with a new addition every year! look, its madden 2010 which looks like madden 09-04 with a new addition! you can pause the game!

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

talk about a bloated staff, I hate to see people lose their jobs but damn that many people working on rehashed sports games, unbelievable.

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

Madden isn't going anywhere cause there are too many people who need their yearly fix of football. I would love to see more effort put into some drastic changes that will benefit both NCAA and NFL games. But thats wishing on a star there.

moh_sakhaii
moh_sakhaii

I protested much against EA because of their shady customer support but after dead space and mirror's edge I have to admit they are back on track for creating good games so let's hope this trend continues and EA stocks go back to normal.

musicman-04
musicman-04

What I want to see is this in these "tough times": EA should release a free downloadable roster update to the current game in August, and release a full Madden in 2010. That way we get a better new Madden every so often and we have a reason to stick not only with our current game but with the franchise. The last one I bought was 05 for xbox....

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

Maybe now they'll hire some people with vision instead of people who want to repackage the same thing with a different athlete on the front.

ACAblackpanther
ACAblackpanther

tu2pac: "I didn't hear about Dead Space until a week before it was coming out; (No mention at E3, magazines, etc.)" GameInformer had an exclusive preview a good year and a half ago, I had been looking forward to it since then. It was on the cover of the magazine. But I'll grant you this, I didn't see much commercial advertising.

Mash_Affect
Mash_Affect

Sounds like a move they should've made years ago even before the recession. Paying 700 guys to make minor adjustments to a sports game every year? A good chunk of that 700 had to have been just laying around soaking up money without doing much of anything all year round.

tu2pac
tu2pac

Haha, I said I wouldn't worry until I saw developers like EA laying people off ... now I'm kind of worried... You should look at the fact that they've been putting out a ton of games lately with little to no promotional effort at all. I didn't hear about Dead Space until a week before it was coming out; (No mention at E3, magazines, etc.) By that time I had already planned to spend my $$ else where. When games start to cost $70 marketing is more important than ever; I don't care how much a developer has already spent in developing the game you still need marketing! Any game that has sold well this generation has had a good marketing staff behind it. Be honest ... how many of you planned to buy or rented that crappy game Haze based on buzz (before it came out). I don't no why developers are forgetting these simple rules these days ... ... they'll remember soon or burn.

Inconnux
Inconnux

Although I really don't like most sports games, this does surprise me as Madden is one of EA's most popular titles.

specialed
specialed

doctorwang, your statement coudlprob be dissected by average people and shot to heck with as much subjective nonsense as is contained in it.... So many variables and personal opinions and circumstances go into liking/playing a video game of any sort. Your little thought is just pathetic.

specialed
specialed

Azurewind213, to say it wont overly affect the productivity is nto the same as it wont affect it at all, which is what you are inferring they said. Just like they said, it wont 'overly affect' productivity', aka...losing more employees wont kill them or drop their numbers so low that it will drastically cause a decrease in production. key words are overly affect. yeah, it will cause some production issues, but they dont think it will be a major problem.

metaljeff
metaljeff

Hard To Believe There Will be More Than Marginal Improvement This Year...If they are SMART they will release a month later to coincide with the start of the NFL Season... I mean, why not?It isn't like there is any competiotion, and the delay may cause such an itch that they'll have a better launch.

Amir29
Amir29

The United States' cycle of fear hits again!! Thanks to media coverage of a crashing market (which was obviously a domino effect of investors selling to get out of the supposed downturn). Consumers themselves are not buying anything because they feel like they'll lose their jobs tomorrow. Those people that stop going to stores because of that fear, make people in those establishments lose ther jobs today. And so the cycle continues until fear consumes all of us. OR until the media gives American people believable positive news to get them buying again. Without such dramatic media coverage, we may not have had such a strong downfall. That's my opinion though. It's simply what I see at work. Our sales are down to 10% of our totals every month. I highly doubt that 90% of the people in the heart of New York City have lost their jobs.

AzureWind213
AzureWind213

I love the way they say that layoffs won't "overly affect the studio's productivity". It will affect them. You're not going to magically get more manpower with less men unless your current processes are terrible enough to improve, which I highly doubt.

Ryuketsu2043
Ryuketsu2043

Man crap is going downhill fast....something HAS to be done.

SamuRai_JeDi
SamuRai_JeDi

Nothing but whining coming from a lot of you. People who say Madden sucks either don't play it or stopped buying it because of negative feedback. Madden '09 is the best Madden game to date, its not flawless, but its a great game. Why would anyone want EA to go out of business?? They have been making great games lately. They are good for the industry, not the other way around. Skate is a prime example.

AntoniustheGrey
AntoniustheGrey

Its weird really. EA starts buying up all these smaller companies several years ago, and now the companies they bought they have to lay off those workers. These conglomerates are getting hit hard probably because they are too hard to manage or it's too hard to have oversight in everything. Now everyone's losing their jobs. Sony and EA make these big cuts where do the workers go? I mean sure they can collect some unemployment for a year but what about after that? Do we just have to hope everythings better by then and these people can find jobs?

atopp399
atopp399

They are cutting customer service from everything I am sure. How else does production remain unaffected.

trodeback
trodeback

Geez if EA kick the bucket then 1/3 of my games will go with them.

Netherscourge
Netherscourge

They need to fire the entire Madden staff and hire 2K Sports' staff.

phase4illini
phase4illini

I like Hvac0120's idea of a 2 year release cycle for Madden, as well as their other game series. I think that 2 years would give their dev teams enough time to really implement solid gameplay changes. In the in-between years, EA could bolster sales by releasing major roster and minor gameplay tweaks via DLC.

Ospov
Ospov

I kinda feel bad for EA considering how they've changed from rereleasing old crap to supporting new IPs. Hopefully they bounce back down the road.