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Breaking

EA Confirms EA Chicago is Closing

kotaku_eachicago.jpgEA Chicago has gone down for the count. I can exclusively report that EA is closing the studio effective immediately. Word is that EA is working hard to place many of the 150+ employees at its other studios around the world. What does this mean for the future of the Def Jam fighting franchise and the forthcoming Marvel fighting game? I'm still looking into that, but it sure seems like those games won't be coming anytime soon.

A source has also leaked me with the surprisingly honest memo sent to EA employees from Frank Gibeau, President of EA Games. In it he says:


"Within the EA Games Label, we are committed to running each franchise and facility as a city/state, teams with unique creative identities as well as responsibility for product quality, ship dates and profitability....Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard....Closing EA Chicago is the toughest decision I've made in my career - one that in no way reflects on the talent and dedication of the people who work there."

This was no doubt an extremely difficult decision for EA. I was at the Chicago studio this summer to tape an episode of Game Head on the new Marvel fighting game and it was a beautiful facility with very talented developers.

Read the full memo from EA after the jump...

FROM FRANK GIBEAU Today we are announcing the closure of our studio in Chicago. This is a difficult decision but we are convinced it's the right thing to do for the future of the Games Label and EA.

Within the EA Games Label, we are committed to running each franchise and facility as a city/state, teams with unique creative identities as well as responsibility for product quality, ship dates and profitability. We recognize that games require large investments and extended development cycles. We're willing to take risks, make long-term investments, and to support teams and individuals between launches. But each team is responsible for staying on a reasonable path to profitability. Sticking to that strategy is what gives us the financial resources and flexibility to take risks on new projects.

Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard. The location has grown dramatically in the past three years while revenue from the games developed there has not. The number of employees has grown from 49 in 2004 to 146 people currently in the new facility in downtown Chicago. As it stands, EA Chicago has no expectation of hitting our profitability targets until FY2011 or later.

Closing EA Chicago is the toughest decision I've made in my career - one that in no way reflects on the talent and dedication of the people who work there. I've enjoyed their games and consider GM Kudo Tsunoda to be one of the best creative minds in our industry. The people impacted by this decision will be treated fairly - we're offering relocation opportunities to many and there will be outplacement assistance and severance for all eligible employees.

I know this decision will be unsettling to many beyond those who work in Chicago. It's important that you understand that we are willing to take creative risks and make long-term investments in people and projects. But the city/state philosophy demands that every project be committed to delivering a reasonable expectation of profitability. It's a performance commitment that binds us together and ensures we have the resources we need to invest back into our people and creative output.

Finally, when EA announced our quarterly earnings last week, John and Warren referenced facility closures. We had planned to include Chicago in that communication but a personal tragedy in the studio - the death of a colleague - resulted in our delaying the announcement out of respect for his family and friends. I apologize for any confusion or concern that caused.

I think you'll find that in addition to tackling some serious challenges, we are making great progress on our business. Consumers have responded well to our new IP and quality scores are tracking up. We are proud of our recent hits, such as Skate and the success we have made in making a solid game with The Simpsons. And we're looking forward to breakout hits like Need For Speed Pro Street, Rockband, Burnout Paradise, Battlefield Bad Company, Army of Two, Crysis, and more in the future with Mass Effect and Mercenaries 2 World in Flames.

We're definitely headed in the right direction.

Frank

11:15 AM ON TUE NOV 6 2007
BY GEOFF KEIGHLEY
26,128 views
107 comments

  • Maybe Bioware or Pandemic will be getting the Marvel fighting game :P

  • Well, that sucks. I was probably the only person on earth who enjoyed Def Jam Icon, and I was really looking forward to seeing them use that same engine in a Marvel fighting game.

  • Oh, poor EA. Tragic they can't see profit from one studio while they're busy eating up the rest of the bleeping gaming world (sup, Pandemic?)

    That's too bad for the Chicago branch. I was looking forward to the new Marvel games. Hopefully the employees can land on their feet.

    PS I haven't been around forever, but is this the first time Geoff has posted on Kotaku? :O

  • Also, how long has Geoff Keighley been writing for the site? That seems new.

  • "The people impacted by this decision will be treated fairly - we're offering relocation opportunities to many and there will be outplacement assistance and severance for all eligible employees."

    At least it looks like they are taking care of the employees at a time like this.

  • damn Mr. Moore paycheck must be huge.

  • "And we're looking forward to breakout hits like Need For Speed Pro Street"
    Thats a joke right?


  • Geoff is the guest writer for this week. He only made two posts yesterday I guess due to GT commitments.

    This is a shame though. Never nice to see a studio go down. Good luck Chicago employees.

  • @playingkarrde

    Actually I don't mind seeing EA studios go down, it knocks a little reality into them.

  • Never been the biggest fan of Def Jam, but still, it's a pretty big loss.

  • Thats what happens when you take a game that was as awesome as Def Jam :FFNY and turn it into the trash that was Def Jam:Icon.

  • No more Def Jam games hopefully. God I hated those games, but my roommates love them. And same for the Marvel games.

    But it is a good thing they will help the employees, most companies would give them some money, or not, and run.

  • Lawl, their taking credit for Mass Effect being a "hit" already, as if EA had anything to do with it.

  • Def Jam Icon sucked, and the last gen Marvel fighting game sucked even worse. No loss here.

  • :-( There goes one of the few Chicago game development houses (i think Midway's the only big one left). Good luck to everyone involved.

  • This was very much a business decision. The last couple games out of this studio has been duds for the most part. It makes sense for EA to close down studios that is doing nothing to help the profit line. It always sucks to see a studio closeur but I can understand EA trying to cut cost. No matter what the company, it is always about money reguardless of what fans think. Hope this means they will put the money saved into Bioware and Pandemic so they can make quality games.

  • how much you wanna bet bashcraft's next scavenger hunt will involve tracking down the guest editors' posts? i'll bet 13 cone hats.

  • After all the crap EA got for the whole no-overtime thing, it's good to hear that they'll be "relocation opportunities." Then again, that could just be saying that...

  • This is a sad day for those at the former EA studio, and game developers as a whole in Chicago. While different studios in the city may be regarded as "the competition", they also strengthen the cities attractiveness to draw world class game developers. Having a major studio close hurts the Chicago game development scene significantly.

    I do very much hope that those folks who have lost their jobs find a great new opportunity. Sometimes a violent change like this can be the best thing to shake a career in a new direction.

  • I wish the fired ones good luck to them and their families... Hopefully someone better will sign the talented ones on...

  • @Lethal_Dosage: Geoff is filling in for Crecente as a guest editor this week. Here's the post where Crecente spells it out.

  • @I_Hate_This_Place: I was just about to comment that it's too bad a studio willing to take a chance and try something new (fighting game with moves and stages syncing to music, preset and custom) wasn't allowed a graceful failure and the chance to try again with another game. It's too bad that EA says they want innovation only to turn around and shut down a studio for pushing just 1 failure that was an honestly good shot at innovative gameplay.

    But then I read comments like yours and realize why EA gets the wrong idea. Gamers need to be a lot less harsh on games that are obviously trying to be innovative at the risk of failure. It's because of over-generalizing our hatred we get a response of, "Welp, let's never try that again." This is just a damn shame.

  • If closing down a branch of your company is the biggest thing you have done, clearly you aren't working hard enough...

  • what games did EA chicago make other than def jam icon and this new marvel fighting game?

  • Considering the (arguable) "Evil Empire" rep EA has, it's nice to see the CEO actually has a heart, delaying the announcement because of a death, and speaking plainly, honestly, and compassionately to the employees through the memo with no BS.

    @TOPROCK:
    I'll bet you 14!

  • Didn't DEF JAM sell well?

  • @Puffa: Yep, and from that Game Head with them, the new Marvel one looked terrible as well. It might have played fine, but their character revisions were just horrible. Dr. Doom's armor does not need to look like some variation of a steampunk tank.

  • this sucks for chicago ... all we have left in the majors is Midway. Why does EVERYTHING have to LEAVE HERE!

  • Since when did Geoff Keighley start writing for Kotaku? Nice.

  • not very good for chicago gaming at all. i was surprised to even find out a chicago EA branch. this town is really in the crapper as far as tech goes.. disappointing at best.

  • This is sad. The Fight Night franchise should have been enough of a moneymaker to keep the studio going but it looks like they grew too big too quickly.

  • Whoa...Geoff writes for Kotaku now?

  • @demonblah:

    Well as much as we all may dislike EA, and what the brand stands for it's still tough seeing a studio with this many people close down, there are still regular people working there who are now out of a job.

  • making games is expensive and risky, i notice that only publisher live long, the game creation studios often have a premature death.

  • That's really too bad, a lot of people really enjoyed Fight Night Round 3, although I can't speak on the matter personally since I never played it. Hopefully the team can stay mostly intact within another studio.

  • "Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard....Closing EA Chicago is the toughest decision I've made in my career - one that in no way reflects on the talent and dedication of the people who work there."

    There is a contradiction there. Did I read that right?

  • Wish these guys the best of luck. Its an optimistic picture for as there is still a big undersupply of good development talent so they'll get picked up in no time. For Chicago, its another story. I can't imagine Midway can keep it together much longer either.

    If Montreal keeps subsidizing production costs, it could be the next Hollywood of video games soon.

  • @Torokun: Geoff's just here as a guest editor for the week while Crecente is on vacation. Still, it's good to have him around.

  • ya gotta do what ya gotta do. it's sad to hear that they are going to shut it down, but with the recent losses in profit, who can blame them? i feel bad for the low level testers who won't be offered another position or offered severance.

  • why does everyone forget this is a business? the house wasn't performing? why keep it open and hemmorage money? saying "EA" can afford it because they are massive etc." is a terrible way to look at it. EA got to be EA by being EA.

    they did the right thing. sometimes careers and jobs are sacrificed. it's just the way of the world.

  • @DaveKap: Agreed. I am being a bit too harsh, and I am saddened at the loss of jobs. Icon just pissed me off so much. But still, you are right, as I lament companies for not taking chances a lot. Hypocritical is me.

  • Wow, I didn't know Geoff posted on Kotaku, hey what's up man!

  • I think this little ditty might sum it up:

    When a friend of mine interviewed with Kudo Tsu-No-Damn-Idea-What-He's-Doing...and he asked about EA's tendency to buy and then shutdown studios -- and what would prevent that from happening at EACHI -- Kudo's response: "It's business, that's why we have to Kick Ass! Every Day!"

    My friend then responded: "I guess Kudo failed to Kick Ass. Every Day."

  • Bullshit.

    Chicago created amazing games including the stunning Fight Night. EA gave them shit properties to deal with, and considering, they did admirably.

    Yet another reason to hate EA.

  • When a friend of mine interviewed with Kudo Tsu-No-Damn-Idea-What-He's-Doing...and he asked about EA's tendency to buy and then shutdown studios -- and what would prevent that from happening at EACHI -- Kudo's response: "It's business, that's why we have to Kick Ass! Every Day!"

    My friend then responded: "I guess Kudo failed to Kick Ass. Every Day."

  • @WaterMedia:

    chicago created 1 stunning game, which was really a next-gen iteration of an already established liscense, which isn't to say that FN3 wasn't a triumph, because it was, but let's at least get the facts straight.

    def jam was junk. marvel never really got off the ground. i hear the team didn't want to make FN4 and that had alot to do with them closing up.

  • HOLY SMOKES! I was about to get hired there ... OOOh god I have friends there ... OOH GOD NO! ...

  • QUICK SOMEONE CALL OPRAH, SAVE US OPRAH! CHICAGO IS IN NEED - YOUR HOMETOWN!

  • chicago still has a strong game industry, but mostly concentrated in smaller studios in and around the city, and a number of arcade related studios and hardware manufacturers...the former ea employees that aren't looking to relocate will have plenty of options in the area, i'm sure i'll see some in the coming months right here

  • Any midway guys/gals up for paintball again this weekend? A now ex-EA guy and I are heading out to CPX for some play with some friends. Maybe some networking with some ex-EA guys? wink wink :-)

  • Wow, hey Geoff! Welcome to Kotaku. So what gaming outlet do you not have your fingers in? Game Head, G4, GT, EW, OXM, and now Kotaku!

    In regards to the post ... sucks for the Chicago folks hope they get folded in to other locations quickly and painlessly. Cant wait to hear if the Marvel game is officially canned.

  • @myrlin: We're having meetings around here to try and increase head-count to pick up anyone from EA that wants to stay in Chicago. Midway has a few open heads to start with (mostly from guys that left for EA, go figure) and if we can add more, I really hope we can help those guys out! Combine the best and brightest of Chicago's EA and Midway studios, and look out!

  • @phrenetik: Day 1 Studios isn't huge, but they might be able to absorb a few too.

  • It's really sad to see a Chicago studio go out. So far we have Midway, High Voltage, Day 1, Wideload, and that's all i know of. Volition is 2 hours south, and the Madison dev studios.. (Raven and Human Head, i think) are 3 hours in the other direction.

  • @I_Hate_This_Place: Admission is the first step. ;-)
    And, admittedly, Icon was an unfortunate loss. It was built up to be much more than it turned out to be. The main glitches with the game were that moves were not fluid, the computer basically cheated, and controls felt laggy. But hey, at least it was cool watching a helicopter slam your opponent in the face with its rotor as the high-point in your favorite song hit. Hopefully someone will pick up on the fun of syncing (*coughREZcough*) and make more risky titles like this perchance to make something beautiful.

  • wish all the former staff at ea chicago best of luck! There goes Fight Night Round 4.... -sigh- guess i wont be trading in round 3 no time soon :(

  • I didn't even play the last Def Jam game because it wasn't developed by Aki. Taking notes, EA? No? Didn't think so.

  • EA Chicago was built off the acquisition of NuFX, a really great independent studio. Sad that they are now getting shut down for the lackluster results of games they probably never would have touched if they were still independent. I mean...they were doing such a great job with boxing games when EA scooped them up...why couldn't that have been enough? Just let them make one or two boxing games a year and not burden them with DefJam, Marvel, etc.

  • MUST...HAVE..MARVEL FIGHTING GAMES!

  • For the record: Def Jam: Icon sold 260,000 on the 360 and 100,000 on the PS3 (cite: vgchartz.com) which isn't as bad as I suspected. Not exactly a hit but not really a failure either. Depends on the budget of the game. Considering all the music it has, there were probably skyrocketing licensing costs. If you assume all those copies were purchased at 40 bucks a pop (being generous here) that's a net income of 14.4 million. AKA: Not enough for EA?

    @supercrap: Yes, what you said exactly. Aki is a requirement.

  • Good i couldnt stand that Tsudo of Sudo or whatever the hell is name is. He drove me insane with his puffy jacket, beard and his hair. May he never work again

  • EA Chicago didn't makes the original Def Jam games or Marvel Nemesis. Aki was responsible for the first two titles (although EA was more involved with Fight for New York). Also, Nihilistic made Marvel Nemesis, it was contracted out.

    Nihilistic actually stopped development on Starcraft Ghost because they were contracted to create Marvel Nemesis for Electronic Arts.

    I wonder what the footnotes on EA Chicago will read once the 25 Year History of Electronic Arts comes out in a few weeks in bookstores.

  • @DaveKap: Innovative at the risk of failure? They made a game where rappers hit each other with trash cans. Katamari Damacy, that's innovative with a risk of failure. Def Jam is a wrestling game with advertising everywhere.

  • @parad0x360: don't forget the Elvis sunglasses worn 24/7 because of his 'eye condition'.

  • "But the city/state philosophy demands that every project be committed to delivering a reasonable expectation of profitability."

    This statement by Frank Gibeau is truly worrying, especially for Bioware. EA Chicago got shut down simply becacuse they didn't make enough to the parent company EA = Electronics Arts (or ERTS on the stock exchange).

    Frank Gibeau is President of EA, not the CEO. That title blongs to a certain. mr. Riccitielle who just lately boasted and bragged being able aquire Bioware - a jewel in his crown - that EA had wanted for some time.

    I guess Bioware now knows what will happen to them, if they don't meet their expected sales of 1½-2½ million units pr. games. pr. year. (Pandemic does too, of course). The thing is that EA makes a target figure for games expected to sell. If say Def Jam:Icon were projected to sell say 500,000 or 1 million units in the first year or so, this isn't up to the expected level. And the studio will get closed down.

    EA is a business, of course. However, there is such a thing as a long-term investment, making sure you're getting your money's worth in the long run, not just going for the biggest profit possible in the shortest run possible. EA seems to have forgotten this.

    As a final note, I feel for the employees of EA Chicago that have been fired and now will be setting out to find other jobs. I hope they all do well and their families will too :)

  • @Catalyst: If that's what you really think, you obviously haven't done your research. There was innovation in that you had to "fight to the music" as moves and events were pulled off in sync to the beat of whatever song was playing. You could even play your own music and the game would read the beats off of it and react accordingly. It forced a new play-style beyond "just rappers fighting" which equated to innovation. In the end they mostly pulled it off too, with the unfortunate loss of Aki's easy-fighting style, fluid gameplay, and Henry Rollins.

    A game doesn't have to be an LSD induced dream-fantasy-world to be considered innovative. I could just as easily call Katamari Damacy "Carmageddon without the blood" if I wanted to generalize things. But like I said before, generalizing doesn't help anything.

  • This is good news. EA Chicago was responsible for ruining the EA Sports 07 Line up (in exceptions to Fight Night Round 3 and NHL 07 for the XBOX 360)

  • @ BEBOP4ONE
    "i feel bad for the low level testers who won't be offered another position or offered severance."

    Don't feel too bad, a lot of EA games (including those made in Chicago) are tested at Tiburon. Anyone who was on a Chicago title will just be moved over to another project.


  • @DaveKap: That game should have easily been a million seller given the subject matter (and yes, it is just a wrestling game with "rap culture"), but then Icon got reviews in the 60s. Whether it was innovative or not, it just wasn't all that fun, and it didn't sell to EA's expectations based on the previous version. I'm not going to lament the loss of Def Jam, especially compared to the other games that studio worked on.

  • @DaveKap: So it was "rappers fighting with a little bit of Vib-Ribbon attached."

  • It serves EA right for not controlling "GM" Kudo Tsunoda. Kudo is a liar, a cheat and should be held personally accountable for this failure. I hope any games company thinks long and hard about ever hiring this guy. There are some incredibly talented people at that studio and they didn't deserve to be faced with this terrible situation. Maybe Midway can capitalize on this failure and make solid offers to these folks...they could sure use the help.

  • "We're willing to take risks, make long-term investments, and to support teams and individuals between launches. But each team is responsible for staying on a reasonable path to profitability. Sticking to that strategy is what gives us the financial resources and flexibility to take risks on new projects. Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard."
    In other words, EA Chicago didn't realize they were supposed to make titles where you could just increase the year in the title by one, and re-release for more money.

  • So depressing. Being a Chicagoan, it makes us all sad to know that we have to rely on Midway to bring the noise again. Blacksite better rock.

  • EA Chicago lost all credibility with me when they unleashed that Steaming Turd that was called DEF JAM ICON.
    As a long time player of that franchise I waited with great anticipation of playing the new game. But I like the others who bought this on the name alone (with hopes that the music gimmick was secondary) were hijacked for a uncontrollable,cheap AI, crash landing...for a $60 overused gimmick theft cost of entry.

    If they just kept the AKI wrestling engine added co-op online wrestling and created HD models and locations I would have paid double for a true FFNY2.

    But instead Tsunda and his team took a wrong turn that has lead to this... So good riddance (to the any development team that hypes turds). Hopefully the cream of the developers will rise to the top and easily move on however this does not surprise me that much. Feeling slightly vindicated for all of the sadness I felt after the few hours I played ICON and the rest of that evening spitting out the Kool-Aid. /rant>

  • Well, that press release pretty much gives everyone their answer: Games are not art.

  • At least EA had the guts to say it straight and not candycoat it with bullshit euphemisms.

  • Finally, EA news that I enjoy! There is nothing greater than hearing the devil himself will be leaving my city!

  • @servesUright: I totally agree-I recall KUDO demoing this at some function and buffing his Turd to a high brasso gloss. After playing the demo I thought to myself the whole game can't be that bad! I was right it was even worse! so KUDOS to EA for not serving more Kool Aid from this guy.Perhaps they could have saved the studio by only firing him. Overall this is a good thing for gaming.

  • @WalletMan: KUDO?

  • Pretty sad news, EA Chicago were one of the studios that experimented quite a bit. I firmly believe that EA was able to gain a foothold on the 360 through Fight Night Round 3 and give the 360 some marketing boost. That game just showed the impressiveness of what graphics can do for a game.

    Too bad they didn't fix the kinks in their latest titles.

  • Forgive my ignorance, but aside from the random quips and comments here, all I know of Kudo Tsunoda comes from the profile on him that Game Informer ran in an issue (I think) last year. Can someone summarize why he was so bad for EA Chicago?

  • I saw that Game Head episode about the Marvel fighting game and it looked promising. I hope that it is not completely abandoned because it was a pretty interesting concept.

  • I find it interesting that EA buys a few developers and the closes one of there studios(which in my opinion the Chicago branch has a lot of talented people there) that must be where the money comes from for the purchases. I feel for the people in the Chicago branch.

  • @LEZARD: Kudo is pompous, self-promoted, child, assuming that everyone eats up his bullshit. When you meet him, you can tell that his overbearing personality is what's making up for his insecurities. It's that transparent.

  • @Lezard: In my opinion he led the team down the rabbit hole on the strengths of most excellent redo of Fight Night. I am sure at some point taking a chance with Def Jam seemed appealing-but you don't continue down that path when it is obviously going to ruin a franchise. You use the power you have gained from the previous successes to halt, take a step back and delay if need be. Especially if it the first time a class A title is appearing on HD (next Gen) systems for a $60 premium.

    An example: Sam Houser and GTA 4. push the product back, move it back until it is ready... I would rather have to complain about a delay than have a class A franchise melt on my screen and leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    So the game manager must ride the heights of accolades when you get it right, but also take the blows when you get it so very wrong.

  • This should scare the bejeezus out of Pandemic and Bioware. As independent studios with a large amount of cash in the bank they could afford to take some risks, ride out a bad year or two and work extra hard on their next hit to make up for it.

    EA doesn't have the patience for that, they have shareholders. This memo effectively says: Once one title tanks, your studio is history.

  • Go South. Volition is only about 1 1/2 hours away and they're good people.

    Wow, lots of studios in the Midwest are either going down or gone..

  • Hmm....Fight Night was the only EA game in recent years that I've really enjoyed. Good going EA...

  • Just wait till you all hear what's gonna happen at Redwood Shores to the Simpson team. Eeeesh.

  • @Jay: I'd nominate that comment if I was able to make the effort.

  • my friend at ea chicago confirms that there will be no more def jam. chicago was the office working on this game, but no more.

  • Bye, brother Munson! Bye, whore!

  • they should close all the ea studios and make one mega compound to make all the games in one location like here in burnaby bc

  • Is this an other "normal and usual" thing from EA and that there's nothing to worry about...?

  • Games companies become enamored with the "creativity" of people like Kudo. They let them become the subjects of ego-feeding articles in magazines (like the Game Informer article, @Lezard). Kudo was gone wild within EA. Not the typical EA studio GM. EA behaved badly by not setting limits for him. This guy could care less about budgets or people...a complete egomaniac. Clearly they got sick of him -- never have I seen EA make such a public statement against a single studio like that (notice the other studio that also closed was barely mentioned). I hope EA learned it's lesson (for their shareholders' sake). Kudo is destined for game developer rehab or a cable-only reality series.

  • Not good news after the acquisition of Bioware and Pandemic.

  • With the amount of money that goes around in the video game industry these days, I believe this shows a lot about how EA does not seem to have a good grasp on the market. Surely, the market is volatile, but not to a point where a large company is easily forced to shut down a studio. If EA had been more nimble, I don't think this would have happened.

  • For sure, just look at these numbers for salary compensation, for the fat cats in redwood shores...

    How many average developers could they pay with this kind of money? What makes one person worth a free 4 million dollar loan, yet you can justify closing an entire studio? Getting costs in line??? Hello look at the scam these guys are pulling off, and it effects the entire game industry...lower quality games...because they want more $$ to line their pockets with.

    Ask Redwood Shores Nick Earle how he feels about overtime compensation for his employees...in fact don't just read his comments in game developer about the EA spouse O.T. being exaggeratted...if EA had their way, they would outsource everything to Asia Sims fashion.

    pulled straight from the EA annual report 2007...

    [library.corporate-ir.net]

    In May 2007, based on a recommendation from the Compensation Committee, our Board of Directors decided
    to award a $993,517 cash bonus based on (i) EA's fiscal 2007 performance, as described above, (ii) Mr. Probst's
    achievement of specific performance goals in fiscal 2007, and (iii) Mr. Probst's bonus target of 100% of his
    base salary. In addition, based on a recommendation of the Compensation Committee, the Board of Directors
    reduced Mr. Probst's salary to $367,426 to reflect his ongoing responsibilities as Chairman of the Board
    following his retirement as Chief Executive Officer.

    In May 2007, the Compensation Committee reviewed and approved for Mr. Jenson a $637,226 cash bonus
    based on (i) EA's fiscal 2007 performance, as described above, (ii) Mr. Jenson's achievement of specific
    performance goals in fiscal 2007, and (iii) Mr. Jenson's bonus target of 75% of his base salary.

    In June 2002, we hired Mr. Jenson as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. As part of our efforts to
    recruit Mr. Jenson, we agreed to loan him $4 million, to be forgiven over four years based on his continuing
    employment. The loan did not bear interest.

    In connection with our recruitment of Mr. Jenson, we also agreed to pay certain relocation-related costs. In
    fiscal 2007, we paid a total of $68,143 on behalf of Mr. Jenson in relocation-related costs, including storage
    and shipping of household goods and the related tax gross-up.

    In May 2007 the Compensation Committee reviewed and approved for Mr. Lee a $639,020 cash bonus based
    on (i) EA's fiscal 2007 performance, as described above, (ii) Mr. Lee's achievement of specific performance
    goals in fiscal 2007, and (iii) Mr. Lee's bonus target of 80% of his base salary.

    In May 2007 the Compensation Committee reviewed and approved for Dr. Florin a $526,874 cash bonus based
    on (i) EA's fiscal 2007 performance, as described above, (ii) Dr. Florin's achievement of specific performance
    goals in fiscal 2007, and (iii) Dr. Florin's bonus target of 60% of base salary.

    Beginning in September 2006, in connection with his relocation to Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Florin received a
    total of $383,022 for assignment-related expenses, including a housing allowance, temporary living reimbursement,
    cultural training, dependent education reimbursement, tax preparation assistance and household goods
    shipping and storage. Dr. Florin will continue to receive assignment-related benefits in fiscal 2008.

    I wonder how many average game developer families those bonuses could provide for on a yearly basis?

    This is where a lot of your $60.00 for Madden goes.



















  • @bonaparte: "This memo effectively says: Once one title tanks, your studio is history."
    No it doesn't. It says a studio should be tracking toward profitability. 2011 isn't really a reasonable time frame.

    Bioware and Pandemic don't need to worry. EA purchased them because they are profitable and will be for the foreseeable future.

  • EA is losing a lot of it's big areas now. First they lose 300 people now they lose EA Chicago.


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