EA nets social gaming outfit Playfish, guts 1500 jobs
Confirming speculation, EA has evealed its buyout of social gaming studio Playfish. The 300 million USD merger will see Playfish assimilated into EA Interactive, the division responsible for casual and mobile games including iPhone and iPod Touch.
The purchase strengthens EA's position as it seeks to dominate the growing social gaming market that includes browser-based and Facebook titles. It already stands as the largest mobile games publisher and the acquisition of Playfish puts EA in striking distance of seizing the lead in social network gaming too.
Official news of the buyout comes on the day hundreds of employees have been laid off from EA studios in Orlando, San Francisco, and Burnaby, British Columbia. The layoffs are part of a restructuring plan expedited by the Playfish deal. 1500 employees have been given the slip as part of a "Cost Reduction Plan."
A statement by EA asserts the layoffs as necessary to save money on the same day it negotiated a 300 million USD spending spree. "This plan will result in annual cost savings of at least $100 million and restructuring charges of 130 to 150 million."
Sources claim hundreds at the company's Orlando, San Francisco, and Burnaby, British Columbia offices have already been let go with more expected between now and the end of March 2010.