EA planning 'small' staff cuts

Megapublisher confirms "routine" companywide cutbacks following completion of holiday lineup.

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Late Wednesday, word began to circulate through back channels that staff cuts were in the offing at EA Mythic, the developer of the forthcoming massively multiplayer online game Warhammer Online. According to an internal e-mail leaked to game enthusiast site Destructoid, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has notified the heads of all the megapublisher's internal studios to tell them to cut costs--and, by implication, staff.

"Our CEO has tasked the company to get its costs in line with revenues," read the e-mail, which reportedly was sent to all of EA Mythic by studio vice president Rob Denton. "Every studio, group and division of the company has been tasked to review its overall headcount and adjust its organization to meet the needs of the business moving forward."

Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications at EA, confirmed to GameSpot that some staff cuts were in the offing companywide, but downplayed their significance. "This was a small and somewhat routine event for this time of year when many of our titles are finished and being shipped," he said. "The action included small numbers of people across studio, publishing and corporate divisions."

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources inside the EA studio structure also confirmed there were cuts being discussed. However, they also echoed Brown's comments that the changes were not major. "It doesn't seem to be that bad...yet," said one, indicating the cuts had come in mainly administrative and publicity positions.

EA's move comes in the wake of its $860 million purchase of superstudio BioWare/Pandemic, where Riccitiello was briefly CEO. Prior to the purchase, the company had nearly 8,000 employees in more than a half-dozen countries.

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