DICE slice current-generation titles
Having laid-off approximately 350 developers in the wake of poor end of year sales, publisher EA appear to be shaving, tightening and tucking elsewhere in their business too, as they look to return their typically gargantuan profit margins. EA-controlled developer Digital Illusions CE are the first to feel EA's accounting blade, with the developer revealing that the Xbox and PS2 versions of an unnamed title have been canned. The unannounced project, said to be a brand new offering from the Scandinavian developer, was due out in 2006, but with this cancellation the remaining versions won't be with us until 2007. The game will still be released for the Xbox 360 and the Sony PSP.
The current generation titles were being created at EA's UK HQ, rather than at DICE's Stockholm base, so the developer itself will only be impacted slightly. The decision was made as PS2 and Xbox sales continue to slide, despite EA promising continued support for aging consoles. The disappointing sales of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat on the PS2 and Xbox might be one of the reasons for this cancellation, the game having only shipped a million copies despite far loftier hopes from the publisher.
For their part, DICE will be hit by this sales disappointment, the firm revealing that no royalties would be paid as the game failed to sell more than four-million copies, due to heavy financial support for the project from EA.
EA UK continue to beaver away on the PSP version, whilst DICE develop the Xbox 360 edition in Sweden. More as we get it.