EA considering closure of Harry Potter developer

Bright Light studio in danger of being shuttered in effort to reduce development costs and centralize development across EA's UK operations.


EA Bright Light Guildford, the studio behind recent Harry Potter film adaptations, Create, and the Hasbro line of licensed board game adaptations, may be on its way out.

Harry Potter has wrapped, and it appears so too has EA Bright Light.
Harry Potter has wrapped, and it appears so too has EA Bright Light.

Originally reported by GamesIndustry.biz, an EA spokesperson confirmed for GameSpot that a "formal consultation process" with employees regarding the closure of operations has begun, with a portion of the personnel being considered for positions in other EA studios in the UK.

This proposed change would be in order to "centralize development on future projects, reduce development costs, and allow for better knowledge and talent sharing within the organization."

EA opened its Guildford-based studio in 1995 under the name EA UK (in 2007, it was renamed EA Bright Light). With the acquisition of the Peter Molyneux-cofounded Bullfrog Productions in 1995, the studio inherited a catalog of classic titles like Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate, and Theme Park.

The studio later shifted its focus to creating games for younger audiences and family-oriented entertainment. These include EA's film adaptations for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise, which have generally received a tepid critical response. The closure of the Bright Light studio would leave Criterion as EA's only UK-based development house.

Earlier this month, Codemasters also targeted its Guildford-based studio for closure. That operation's most recent project was the futuristic shooter Bodycount, which received a lackluster critical reception.

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Avatar image for Yasviele

Such an unexpecting new!

Avatar image for brain20035

As a developer, when you create uninspired, dull and slothful games such as Harry Potter DH part 1 and part 2, you DESERVE to be punished!!

Avatar image for ar2_arr

too bad, i wanted the movies to end so they would make a hp game, based on the hp universe but not on a particular movie, they tend to be better games since they are not tied to do as the movie dictates, thats what happens to star wars games, the best are not the ones based directly on a particular movie but rather on the sw universe

Avatar image for funkymonkey4710

They could so make more games outside of the Harry Potter storyline and in the Harry Potter universe. Heck look at Star Wars, the movies have been over for some time and they still makes games based off that. I definitely don't think this is the last we have seen of Harry Potter in multiple media outlets.

Avatar image for MERGATROYDER

They should make a true Harry Potter title based on each book. Not a game, mirroring a movie, based on a book. The game could be much more in-depth.

Avatar image for spoonybard-hahs

So... A studio that butchered a beloved franchise gets the axe and it's "good riddance". But a studio that made several crap original games that didn't even break even and gets deep-sixed qualifies for a national day of mourning and a klaxon of rage.

Avatar image for grungeman91

It seems they didn't give the franchise the justice it needed, The games had a lot of potential to be a good if they'd stop shoveling out the same game way earlier than they did, I liked the first few then it went downhill after the third, I hate to see people lose their jobs especially nowadays with people getting laid-off every hour on the hour but I do hope the guys get picked up by another development team in the future, Till then good luck guys.

Avatar image for grungeman91

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for Phil-teh-Pirate

If at first you don't succeed, don't make more games that are exactly the same as the first.

Avatar image for warhawk-geeby

Well considering the movie tie-ins are no longer possible.. and Mrs Rowling has finished the story... I'd say this makes sense? Should go back to the theme games if you ask me. Brilliant stuff.

Avatar image for im-a-roustabout

This May be a good thing. Hopefully somebody will pick this up and make a real Harry Potter game since all the ones from EA never lived up to their potential. Which is a shame because the Harry Potter universe is so rich that there us just so much to work with. Personally I would love to see a Harry potter GTA like game. And no I dont mean you can go jacking brooms and banging herminoe for Galleons. But a proper sand box that captures the theme. God it would be so much fun to create potions and hop on your broom anytime etc,

Avatar image for taddia

well... can we say they did a good job for the harrypotter games? I mean... Most of em were atrocious O_o... IN my opinion, ofc.

Avatar image for chisoxrule

Harry Potter books "outstanding", Movies "meh", Video games "P~~~~~~~~~~!" :P

Avatar image for luv_2_raqequit

Isn't "sucky games" a good enough reason to close shop?

Avatar image for txgamerwavg

Harry Potter Movie "good" on Video Game "no good" that why they suck.

Avatar image for MemberUnknown

@AuronAXE I wouldn't be surprised if EA had them chained down in the basement working on the DOS operating system. All employees of that studio really need to think about their current situation.

Avatar image for kweeni

I played the first Harry game on ps1. Got to the part after you get past the big 3 headed dog and get stuck in those plants. Never got past those plants because my bro scratched my disk and the game stopped working. :( I was really pissed because I really liked that game... But anyway looking at the games this studio made I can't really say I'm surprised. Anyone smart would have left that studio long ago, or atleast right after the release of the last Potter game..

Avatar image for Soothsayer42

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for ryzrocks

well you know what they say 'All's well ends....I can't finish that sentence :P

Avatar image for LordRaymond

Leave the studio alone people.

Avatar image for Superzone

Good, let someone else try to make some Potter games. There's a lot of potential in that franchise for good video games.

Avatar image for zulwalks


Avatar image for zulwalks

This isn't unlike the other dev houses ea set up.....those actually had made good games.........the only game they've made that was really made money was harry potter. but that still was crap and now the series is over they dont really have much games in the pipeline other than monopoly

Avatar image for beny_pimpster

.................... damn!

Avatar image for stEElyDaN909

It's too bad people are losing their jobs, but really, these guys didn't do just a great job in the first place.

Avatar image for AuronAXE

Anyone smart in the studio would have left after the release of the last Harry Potter game and got a headstart on finding a new job. Everyone else, I wish them good luck.

Avatar image for franzito


Avatar image for StJimmy15

But they do such a good jo... wait.

Avatar image for woodyfr

If you need your dose of Harry Potter try the LEGO games, fun, not too hard and for everyone.

Avatar image for Jamemba

This studio has made absolutely awful games. Have any of you played NFS: Shift on the PSP? Absolute garbage. I'm sorry for the people affected though. :(

Avatar image for brendanhunt1

Liked the first three. The rest of the games were just horrible.

Avatar image for sulaymanqazi

The first one was AWESOME. but the rest are just a bunch of COD's

Avatar image for bigcrusha

can't really say I'm shocked, the franchise is coming to an end now, and besides, they weren't exactly the the crown jewel of the gaming industry either. Sucks for whoever gets laid off tho...

Avatar image for Avenger1324

The Harry Potter franchise was always going to come to an end as it was so heavily linked with the films, but it's a shame to hit the Guildford studio again, after taking significant hits 3 years ago in a previous large redundancies process. Best of luck to those affected

Avatar image for TomBray92

oh dear.

Avatar image for MemberUnknown

The most likely reason that the games are rubbish is because Electronic Assh*les would have given them a small budget to work on. They had to create a game that was well balanced and covered every aspect of the product at an even level. Now EA are having a fit that they are spending too much money on keeping this studio open. If they had increased their budget for better Harry Potter games, or closed them down earlier then we wouldn't be having this problem now.

Avatar image for danielkennedy91

their harry potter games are appalling!

Avatar image for anthonycg

Let us all bow our heads so that we don't have to watch it walk out of the door.

Avatar image for nccpeter

Keep the studio and kill the license.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b31d3729c1fa

they're bad and they don't sell....

Avatar image for WickerShade

Loved the first two, hate the rest, they all suck now

Avatar image for ChargeMan1991

I don't understand why some people on here are saying that the Harry Potter movies sucked......

Avatar image for DeadrisingX1

About time they stop releasing this half a$$ed crap.

Avatar image for Rocker6

IMO,when it comes to Harry Potter universe,everything other than books sucks.There were few good movies,but games suck hard.They are nothing more but cash-ins.

Avatar image for eddieham13

The game where awful anyway.. the only one I ever enjoyed was the first game for the ps1. The Philosophers stone. They all got worse and worse from the on, its as if they traded gameplay for graphics as they went along.

Avatar image for Gmythe

Guess there probably won't be a Harry Potter Quidditch World Cup 2 =(

Avatar image for sknight175216

Lmao. They're joking right? NOBODY likes the Harry Potter games. Not to mention that I don't personally like the movies much ha ha ha...

Avatar image for Son_of_Bmore

Get'er done

Avatar image for jamoliso

about time

Avatar image for Neo_Sarevok

End it. The games suck. The kids are all playing Kinect games, anyways.

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