Analyst: Weak Sales of Mirror's Edge, Rock Band 2 Could Mean More EA Cuts

By Nick Breckon, Dec 08, 2008 7:40pm PST Electronic Arts titles such as Mirror's Edge, Rock Band 2 and Need for Speed Undercover are expected to underperform this holiday season, and could spell more product and personnel cuts for the publisher, according to Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.

"Specifically, we believe several EA titles are tracking below plan at retail this holiday, including Need for Speed Undercover (with disappointing reviews), new franchise Mirror's Edge, and Rock Band 2," said Sebastian, as relayed by Gamasutra.

Lazard predicts that a sluggish season could mean more layoffs for EA--in addition to the October 30 slashing of 600 jobs--and product cancellations, such as the company's recent termination of EA LA's Tiberium.

"Importantly, we believe EA is continuing to review its cost structure and franchise base, and it is possible that management will announce further cuts in headcount and the development pipeline (including existing franchises) over the coming quarters," added Sebastian.

While hard sales data of holiday titles has not yet been released, Lazard's "tracking" bills the aforementioned games as slower-than-expected sellers. However, Sebastian noted that Dead Space, FIFA 09 and Left 4 Dead have seen strong sales in spite of the overall disappointment.

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