Report: EA Partners facing closure

EA Partners, the contract-based publishing arm of Electronic Arts that courted independent developers, is reportedly set to be closed.


EA Partners may be facing closure. Electronic Arts' contract-based program for independent developers has been particularly active in the last few years, publishing the Crysis series, Bulletstorm, and retail copies of Portal 2, but sources claim it will be shutting down soon.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, Game Informer says the closure will not impact Insomniac's Fuse or Respawn's debut game. EA's earnings call is scheduled for May 7, when it is likely to detail its publishing strategy moving forward.

Over the last few months, EA has had its CEO John Riccitiello step down, and gone through rounds of layoffs. The Partners program was involved in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning last year, which had its own very public financial problems. EA has not disclosed whether it was owed money from the studio, or how much. Partners also co-published The Secret World, which went free-to-play just five months after launch.

Shacknews has contacted EA and will update as more information becomes available.

From The Chatty
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    April 25, 2013 8:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Report: EA Partners facing closure.

    EA Partners, the contract-based publishing arm of Electronic Arts that courted independent developers, is reportedly set to be closed.

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      April 25, 2013 8:25 AM

      This will be sad if true. I've worked with EAP in the past and they've always seemed to be willing to take a bet on smaller products, especially when they could fairly reliably forecast an initial sales run.

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      April 25, 2013 8:40 AM

      EA's Q1 numbers must have been really bad with all the cost-cutting

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        April 25, 2013 9:13 AM

        Bad enough for Riccitiello to resign before the earnings call. He said himself that the numbers were down, and it was time for him to go.

        IIRC, EA's fiscal year ended at the end of March, and their earnings call is in early May (May 7?) It's not going to be a pretty message; they're going to discuss strategy and direction changes, and perhaps a new CEO.

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          April 25, 2013 10:05 AM

          It's not really that surprising when about 1/3 to half of your AAA high profile games are released to extremely negative fanfare (ME3 ending, Simcity always online DRM) and also pulling their most recent titles from getting a release on Steam, the (by far) the biggest digital outlet.

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            April 25, 2013 10:13 AM

            They are also facing declining or stagnant sales from their major sports franchises.

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            April 25, 2013 10:21 AM

            Failure of Origin, failure of SW:TOR, no major hits, MOH mildly successful, unrealistic targets on the otherwise successful Dead Space 3... etc.

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      April 25, 2013 9:10 AM

      Dang, EA Partners looked like the best thing EA had done in a while.

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        April 25, 2013 10:48 AM

        and so it has to go.

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          April 25, 2013 11:24 AM

          Realistically, it's because there is no such thing as a "kinder, gentler megapublisher", and it's far easier to self-publish via Steam / XBLA / PSN and self-fund via Kickstarter than to enter into a contract with EA Partners.

          EA Partners only has two publically announced developers signed. That's not holding up the staff in that division, who aren't bringing in a ton of revenue. I hope whoever gets affected is transferred instead of let go, but EA is in a period of massive, painful change right now.

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      April 25, 2013 10:35 AM

      Ouch, that is not good at all.

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      April 25, 2013 11:06 AM

      So how long before EA completely crashes and burns?

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      April 25, 2013 11:19 AM

      What does this mean for respawn?

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        April 25, 2013 11:26 AM

        I anticipate an announcement around the time of E3. Maybe their plans have changed, or maybe they're going to be the last signed EA Partners studio to release an EA Partners game.

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      April 25, 2013 11:58 AM

      Secret World didn't go Free to Play. It dropped the subscription model. You still have to buy the box/digital version in order to play it. (ie like Guild Wars 1 and 2 and Defiance.)

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