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Massive EA layoff, Mythic reduced by almost half. Effect on UO?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by bumblefutz, Nov 9, 2009.

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  1. bumblefutz

    bumblefutz Guest

    From Kotaku.

    Of course this is pretty much entirely due to the Warhammer MMO having been a complete trainwreck of a flop, but I do hope this doesn't harm UO too much.
     
  2. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    My sympathies to everyone affected.

    *keeps an ear open for gossip*
     
  3. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Damn...
     
  4. ACB1961

    ACB1961 Lore Keeper
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    We all knew all this content was too good to be true.

    This is just so very sad.
     
  5. kelmo

    kelmo Old and in the way
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    Rumor so far...
     
  6. Lynk

    Lynk Grand Poobah
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    They need to invest more in UO.. obviously a dedicated player base.
     
  7. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Seems more than 'rumour' now though, being written about on Gamasutra http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25999 and some 'ex-employees' on Twitter.

    No clue what the impact for UO may be, and we've seen a few 'reorganisations' at EA not affect UO much, hopefully this is another that while bad for those in the rest of the company, doesn't hit the Ultima team.....
     
  8. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    wow, don't care at all for this quote from that source:

    Those cuts extend to "hundreds" of EA employees and unspecified game projects, according to tipsters.
     
  9. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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  10. Deaol

    Deaol Certifiable
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    Goodbye UO and WarHammer :stretcher:

    reports that 80 people have been laid off from EA Mythic today. Official sources have not commented as of yet, and this information has been circulating from the people that were supposedly laid off. In addition to the layoffs, which may actually reach up to 1,000 Mythic employees worldwide, Mythic games will be going into "maintenance mode", since the majority of the layoffs happened in the creative department
     
  11. The Fallout

    The Fallout Guest

    We are a dedicated group of mofo's aren't we? heh
     
  12. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    So pretty much same old same old for us.

    Uo has been in 'maintenance mode' for 4 years now. I can't remember the last time I saw on a UO box on a store shelf.

    9th anniversary maybe?
     
  13. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    It appears to be timed with EA's release of their quarterly results. They're reporting an increased loss over last year (US$391M vs US$310M) although a lot of that is in accounting gymnastics over stock grants and deferred revenue. But that's spread over such a huge number of divisions that it's hard to tell how our tiny corner of the woods contributed. There's certainly a lot of buzz about Warhammer taking a pasting, but I don't yet see any details on exactly where Mythic's share of the pain has been doled out.
     
  14. Theo_GL

    Theo_GL Grand Poobah
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    Earnings just came out 5 min ago.

    Here is the AP article....


    Electronic Arts reports 2nd-quarter loss, plans to cut jobs

    On 4:30 pm EST, Monday November 9, 2009

    Companies:Electronic Arts Inc.
    NEW YORK (AP) -- Electronic Arts is reporting a loss for its fiscal second quarter in what's been a difficult year for the video game industry.

    The company behind games such as "Madden NFL 10" also said Monday it is laying off 1,500 employees to focus on games that have higher profit margins.

    The quarter's net loss was $391 million, or $1.21 a share, 26 percent wider than the loss a year earlier.

    Electronic Arts Inc., which is based in Redwood City, Calif., says its net sales fell 12 percent to $788 million in the July-September period.

    But sales including deferred revenue from online games grew 2 percent to $1.15 billion, inching past Wall Street's expectations.

    Looking ahead, the company says it expects to report a net loss for the full fiscal year.
     
  15. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    Oh dear... *frets*
     
  16. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    *boggle* ... *looks at SA and a couple of big fat patches in the last couple of months* ... what exactly would not being in maintenance mode look like?

    On the weekend I saw a stack of 9th age boxes in my local computer store right beside WoW boxes (and there is very little space devoted to PC games any more, just one small rack at the end of the sprawling console game section).
     
  17. Tandek

    Tandek Guest

    It's unlikely to adversely affect UO, unless they completely shut down Mythic, which would be rather surprising. As long as UO has a steady, loyal playerbase that brings in positive cashflow, it would be just stupid to shutter it. On the otherhand, it's hard to say if they would toss too much into "improving it", especially when major attempts to bring the game up to speed (or at least into this century) have been met with overwhelming resistance by that same steady, loyal playerbase. They could probably just milk the game (further?) from the existing players until it finally gets close enough to the red ink to shut it down.

    I certainly wouldn't cry DOOOOOOM yet. UO survived alot over 12 years, some much worse than this announcement.

    I'm more disappointed in WAR. It is really a great game, and extremely well thought out. It's just not WoW, which was its entire downfall. Ironically, it's everything WoW needs to be to continue its reign but will never become, due to its own limitations on aging coding and concepts. Hmmm, sounds strangely familiar....
     
  18. phantus

    phantus Stratics Legend
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    Actually it's garbage compared to what Turbine was going to do with the franchise. This is bad news. Friend of mine that works for EA is bummed with all the dumps. He still has his job for now.
     
  19. canary

    canary Guest

    SA took over two years to be released, some entire GAMES have been released in that timeframe.

    I'm unsure what 'fat patches' you are referring to. It obviously has nothing to do with the EC client.
     
  20. Harb

    Harb Guest

    1) Sincere sympathy to all effected.
    2) Guess we'll now get to take a look at how the move "under" Mythic actually went. My best guess is that if Mythic actually makes the "cuts" internal to "Mythic," we may be in for a world of hurt.
    3) Crosses fingers :(
     
  21. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    not good

    :sad3:


    Several sources close to EA have confirmed to GameSpot that the company began extensive layoffs this morning, with one saying the number was in the "hundreds." The layoffs are apparently "company-wide" and are affecting the publisher's internal studio structure, including such shops as EA Tiburon (Madden NFL) and the already downsized Mythic Entertainment (Warhammer Online) and EA Black Box (the forthcoming Skate 3).
     
  22. NuSair

    NuSair Babbling Loonie
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  23. Gheed

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    Ugh I hate news like this in these ugly times.

    If Draconi goes... I go with him! Hear me EA? *holds head up high* I bet I pay enough yearly to cover one.. maybe even two days of his net! *shakes wallet*
     
  24. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    Several sources close to EA have confirmed to GameSpot that the company began extensive layoffs this morning, with one saying the number was in the "hundreds." The layoffs are apparently "company-wide" and are affecting the publisher's internal studio structure, including such shops as EA Tiburon (Madden NFL) and the already downsized Mythic Entertainment (Warhammer Online) and EA Black Box (the forthcoming Skate 3).
     
  25. TheGrimmOmen

    TheGrimmOmen UO Legend
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    Well, I think that depends on your definition of "Maintenance Mode". From what I've seen when other titles have gone into "MM", UO doesn't come close to that description. The lack of "New" UO boxes on the shelves, despite the arguable need for boxes on the shelf, isn't an indication of "Maintenance" status.

    -GO
     
  26. Lynk

    Lynk Grand Poobah
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    UO has to be profitable...
     
  27. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6239401.html

    [UPDATE 2] Mythic Entertainment was apparently particularly hard hit. Unconfirmed reports estimate that over one third of the EA-owned, Virginia-based shop was laid off following disappointing sales of its massively multiplayer online role-playing game Warhammer Online. The layoffs come just months after studio head Mark Jacobs departed following a reorganization of all of EA's RPG studios, which now report to BioWare co-founders Ray Muzkya and Greg Zeschuk.

    But the question remains, is it the WAR team or the UO folks being hit? I hate the idea of anyone losing their job, since that happened to me not too long ago, but I really hope they don't damage the UO team....
     
  28. Tandek

    Tandek Guest

    It's a bit off topic, but they announced this at least a week ago. I have an email about it. This is saying that it is now available. This probably would have been done regardless of the massive layoff. It's an attempt to get people to at least try it out and see how good the game really is. "Unlimited" allows them to try classes out until they find one try really get hooked on.

    I had to let my account go a while back. Just not enough time to play everything I was paying for. I'll almost certainly take this offer up, play from time to time and may even pick up the account again.
     
  29. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Everybody face out, healers to the center!

    Thinking good thoughts in the direction of our team.
     
  30. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    But there's worlds of difference between 'profitable', what we see as 'profitable', and what a corporate regards as 'profitable enough'.
     
  31. five oclock

    five oclock Guest

    hrm..Ok so EA has finally been hit what the rest of the world has been hit. Massive layoffs...things going down hill like a snowball.....

    Im surprise EA has lasted as long as they had. Anyone could see with all the other problems going on this was bound to happen sooner or later.

    Yes its sad. yes it sucks BIG TIME. Im sorry for anyone who loses there jobs...

    How will this effect UO tho? seriously?

    we are a 12 year old game. Everything is paid up. We are gravy for them. UO is not going anywhere fast as long as there are players that will PAY to play it.

    As for other games EA makes..There are ALOT out there. Also some in Dev mode too. They will probally be the first to go. Why? The cost of upgrades. Of servers, programmers etc etc.

    So EA is having lay offs.. Who isn't?

    I played warhammer and loved it. But Im sure it will be the first to go. Losing its player base after only being around for a little over a year. No returning players etc etc.

    Heres a seriously question for the devs. How many people does it really take to work UO? I mean its a 12 year old game. Its not up to date with the graphics and actions of todays game. Some people would think it would be a step down to work on UO rather than a game like WoW or War, but hey a job is a job right?

    Im not worried about UO. Its hear to stay. But the newer games out there..thats what Im worried about..and also how long until a NEW game does come out? thats another question...
     
  32. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    kay, this little bit helps some, yes?

    (good to see ya, Grimm!)
     
  33. Gellor

    Gellor Guest

    Wait... we had a QA team??:lol::mf_prop:
     
  34. OxAO

    OxAO Guest

    This was the best development team they had since the beginning.

    80 of those people are gone.

    When things improve they will probably higher people that doesn't even know what a game is.
     
  35. Maplestone

    Maplestone Crazed Zealot
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    Hey, hope the team's OK. I know first hand that going through round after round of this isn't fun. I'd love to pester you for details of exactly what's gone down in UO's little corner of the world, but I guess we'll find out in due course.
     
  36. Harb

    Harb Guest

    BTW welcome back "old man." Same for Vex. Hope you folks are safe!
     
  37. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    Nice siggy, Grim. thanks for popping in. I think we all are just waiting on some official "The only thing we have to fear is..." statement. Hope things are OK your end, nice to see an official title there by your name.
     
  38. gjohnson5

    gjohnson5 Guest

    ???
    Either your product is making money or it's not....

    A company cannot continue to be wasteful and produce bad products and expect to remain in business.....
     
  39. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    EA is notorious for buying up very successful small companies with a focus on quality and a nice little niche market and imploding them.
     
  40. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Certain products can be, and often have been, profitable of themselves, but when included in a corporate management overview of rates of return, have been abandoned, or 'let go' to smaller organisations that are happy functioning at a lower rate of profit, or can understand and develop/market the product better than the corporate can. If you've not noticed that happen in many aspects of the business world, I'm very surprised - but stating it as simply as 'profit or not', as you do, means you've probably not grasped some things about how bigger organisations work.
     
  41. JoO

    JoO Seasoned Veteran
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    Two companies. Two obviously different philosophies on game development. Two extremely clear and opposite results. Put out good product, fix bugs and don't leash developers who actually want to make a game better.
     
  42. gjohnson5

    gjohnson5 Guest

    Yep
    Standard corporate anti competitive activity. Instead of competing with another companies products , larger companies buy the smaller companies out..... Even if the buyout put the larger company a few hundred million in the red
     
  43. siyeng0

    siyeng0 Guest

    I'm not qualified to comment on any of the business side of this discussion, so I'll just say-

    Best wishes to the dev team. I hope you all pull through okay. I still love your game and I'll stay with it until the end, which I choose to believe is not now.
     
  44. Lynk

    Lynk Grand Poobah
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    Dude quit stalking my posts.
     
  45. Mitzlplik_SP

    Mitzlplik_SP Guest

    IMO UO`s not going anywhere. Whats it take like 2-3 peaple and a hamster to keep it plugged in?

    It has to cost very little to keep it going compared to the amount of money it brings in.

    I`m not worried.

    Definately sorry to those whose lost jobs though. Thats something I`ve been scared of but so far....so good. *knock on wood*
     
  46. Tomas_Bryce

    Tomas_Bryce Rares Collector Extraordinaire | Rares Fest Host
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    In another breaking news, UHall which has been surprisingly optimistic as of late will likely revert back to its infamous state of paranoia and _sky_is_falling_ mindset.
     
  47. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    Nope. Someone from EA/Mythic will post that it's all fine, they are all staying, and the next patch will fix the problems we currently have in both 2d and SA ;)

    (You wanted optimism, right? )
     
  48. Tomas_Bryce

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    I also want world peace :p
     
  49. Viquire

    Viquire Crazed Zealot
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    And the Female FBI agents phone number?
     
  50. olduofan

    olduofan Guest

    [UPDATE] Publisher slashes staff by 17% to save $100 million annually, focus on higher-margin titles; internal sources confirm reductions at Skate, Madden, and Dante's Inferno devs; over one-third Mythic reportedly pink-slipped.
     
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