During a major restructure within EA in April in which up to 1,000 people lost their jobs, word got out that the EA Partners program would be shutting down. However, President Frank Gibeau has come out to put an end to the rumors of the programs closure.
In questioning whether Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall would be the labels last game published, Gibeau replied that the information was incorrect, but he “can understand why some might believe so.”
“I don’t think the communication of that has been particularly well executed on our part. We are absolutely open for business to partner with developers out there. In fact on mobile, as an example, with our Chillingo team, we just published three games this week.”
Gibeau claims that most of the layoffs were aimed at internal development and had very little to do with publishing.
“We had, frankly, too much capacity inside of our EA Partners team to handle more projects than we were in position to want to have right now. That was what was the scaling back of it was. But Partners is open for business.”
EA Partners has been responsible for many games over the past few years, the most successful of which have been the Crysis series and physical distribution for Valve’s games. However, much of the critical acclaim has not turned into financial success with smaller titles like Brutal Legend, Shadows of the Damned, Bulletstorm, Syndicate, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning not living up to standards.
Most recently, EA Partners saw the release of Insomniac’s Fuse to abysmal review scores and even more abysmal sales figures.
Poor communication about the EA Partners label has not been the only culprit in the confusion. We have the sales figures in front of our eyes, and not one massive hit has been unearthed through the program.
We’ve seen a lot of brilliant developers get a shot at putting out some decent AAA games to be sure, but EA is a business after all. You can understand why we are skeptical about the program’s future.