EA Bright Light shuttered - Report

Develop reports UK-based Harry Potter studio closes doors following consultation period.


EA Bright Light is now in the dark. Game industry publication Develop reports that Electronic Arts' Guildford, UK-based outfit--recently responsible for three tepidly received Harry Potter titles--is no more.

EA Bright Light has gone dark.
EA Bright Light has gone dark.

According to the publication, EA Bright Light shut down late last year, following a consultation period. It is unknown how many staffers are out of work, but a 2009 BBC profile of the developer states the shop employed around 100 individuals. Develop reports that some former employees have moved on to other EA studios like Playfish and Criterion, as well as outside developers Supermassive Games and Jagex.

EA opened its Guildford-based studio in 1995 under the name EA UK (in 2007, it was renamed EA Bright Light). In recent years, the studio has focused on creating games for younger audiences and family-oriented entertainment, specifically EA's adaptations for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise. The closure of the Bright Light studio leaves Criterion as EA's only UK-based console development house.

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Avatar image for Koudai2008

@Sohereiam EA is such a huge company that I don't know if anyone actually lost their job. They may have just been transferred to other teams within EA. But still, a transfer may mean having to pack up and move for some people. Anyhow, this is the first I've heard of it, so I don't know much about it.

Avatar image for Ultimate39

@20years Unbelievably, yes. Just read the review for the latest HP game.

Avatar image for Apastron

"...the studio has focused on creating games for younger audiences and family-oriented entertainment..." Or garbage, as it is more commonly known. It was effectively set up to fail unless they addressed the usual problems that 'family-oriented' games always fall prey to. They didn't, and now they aren't.

Avatar image for AcidSoldner

That's too bad but they should have tried a little harder on making games that were worth a damn.

Avatar image for Sohereiam

I personally hate to see something like this, I hate to imagine all those people losing their jobs.

Avatar image for Kflap

Its a shame people lost jobs but thank god they've closed it down. I did enjoy the Harry Potter games but they were awful games that could of been amazing and EA let everyone down. Calls for remakes me thinks. This time they should draw from the books. Not the films

Avatar image for pakhair

I think the Order of Phoenix and The Half Blood Prince were interesting games with bits of fun and exploring, Although the final two Part1 and 2 were disastrous corridor & cover based shooters with terrible AI

Avatar image for parrot_of_adun

@20years Yeah, if I'm not mistaken, those were cover shooters... About Harry Potter. It seems like EA gave them the task so they could have an excuse close them...

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Another subsidiary that doesn't make money bites the dust. :P

Avatar image for Avenger1324

The split in the UK studio was somewhat artificial - they were all in the same building, and originally planned to be one large studio. Internal politics created the division between EA Criterion and EA Bright Light, with further minor groups looking at new IP possibilities for EA Games and EA Sports. Bright Light was predominantly the Harry Potter studio, but the end of that franchise was known about several years ago. Evidently plans for new IP for the studio haven't been taken. Hopefully as many of those affected by the closure can find other roles within the remaining studio, whatever name that is now under.

Avatar image for k4duty

Feel sorry for the workers but they didn't make good Harry Potter games

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

Hopefully the people will have found new jobs within the videogame industry.

Avatar image for Soothsayer42

Those who is smart will leave the Studio right after the last movie ended. Goodluck to the employees!

Avatar image for EPaul

Not a fan of movie games but its always sad when a game studio closes