Electronic Arts to Cut 1,500 Jobs

Will close several facilities

Videogame giant Electronic Arts posted a net loss for the 11th consecutive quarter on Nov. 9 and said it was cutting 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its workforce.

EA reported a net loss of $391 million in its fiscal second quarter, which ended on September 30, compared with a net loss of $310 million a year ago.

EA said revenue rose 2% in the quarter to a record $1.147 billion behind the launches of "FIFA 10," "Madden NFL 10," "The Beatles: Rock Band," "Need for Speed," "SHIFT" and "NCAA Football 10."

The Redwood City, Calif.-based videogame publisher said it was cutting some 1,500 jobs as part of a plan to "narrow its product portfolio to provide greater focus on titles with higher margin opportunities."

It said the plan, expected to be completed by March 31, 2010, will include the closure of several facilities and will result in annual cost savings of at least $100 million and restructuring charges of $130 million to $150 million.

EA announced earlier on Nov. 9 that it has acquired London-based social network game maker Playfish in a deal that could be worth up to $400 million. EA said it had bought Playfish, which makes games for Facebook, MySpace and other social networks, for $275 million in cash and $25 million in equity retention arrangements for employees. In addition, EA said it will pay up to $100 million if the privately held Playfish reaches certain performance milestones through December 31, 2011.

"EA is performing well, with quality, sales and segment share up so far this year," EA chief executive John Riccitiello said. "We are making tough calls to cut cost in targeted areas and investing more in our biggest games and digital businesses," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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