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Report: EA Black Box Lays Off Majority of Staff

Vancouver-based studio EA Black Box today laid off the majority of its staff, multiple development sources close to the situation have informed Gamasutra, with losses at the Need For Speed studio said to exceed 200 personnel -- details within.
Vancouver-based studio EA Black Box today laid off the majority of its staff, multiple development sources close to the situation have informed Gamasutra. Upwards of 200 of the Electronic Arts-owned development house are said to have been let go; the company's website pegs its total size as over 350. Other employees are said to have been given the opportunity to relocate elsewhere within EA. The move is part of an ongoing effort on the part of the global publisher to reduce company-wide staff size by about 10 percent. Last month, an EA statement indicated that Black Box's teams and projects would be folded into EA's nearby Burnaby studio. This week, Black Box shipped Skate 2 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The original Skate, released in 2007, was notable for its strong success, both commercial and critical, relative to the skateboarding genre's longtime leader, Activision's Tony Hawk franchise. The studio is also known for having handled the Need for Speed racing games since 2002; the series has been declining in popularity over the last several years. Black Box Games was acquired by EA in 2002, becoming an independent studio within EA in 2005.

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