We already heard about layoffs at Capcom today but that’s not the end of the bad news for video game developers. This morning, GamesIndustry reported that EA closed Phenomic, the Germany-based studio behind Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, Lord of Ultima, and Spellforce, among others. EA issued a statement on its internal restructuring, though it didn’t address the closure directly:
“As part of EA’s realignment in recent weeks, we have announced internally a small adjustment to some development staff to better focus our teams against priority growth areas. The decision to let people go is not something we take lightly and we are working to ensure that impacted employees are treated fairly and with respect for their contributions to EA, and with assistance to find other job opportunities.
These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.”
It’s not clear how many people lost their jobs, but the GamesIndustry post says that the studio employed sixty developers at its peak. According to Phenomic’s site, the company was founded way back in 1997, and subsequently purchased by EA in 2006. Now nearly seven full years later, the studio’s been closed. Sadly, the company had a job posting on its site, saying it was working on “BattleForge, an innovative next generation RTS.” The game was released back in 2009, so it’s unclear whether this is a new version of BattleForge, or merely an old posting that never got taken down. Either way, chances are pretty good that whatever work they were doing has either been moved to a different division within EA, or simply shuttered completely.
Our sympathies go out to anyone affected by the layoffs—and the layoffs that may still come within EA.