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.

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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.

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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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