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EA Phenomic sees layoffs, potential shuttering - Report
EA Phenomic sees layoffs, potential shuttering - Report
July 12, 2013 | By Mike Rose

July 12, 2013 | By Mike Rose
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EA Phenomic, the Germany-based real-time strategy studio behind titles like Battleforge and Lord of Ultima, has reportedly been shut down.

The company was originally founded as Phenomic Game Development back in 1997, and acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006. Its latest release was Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances last year.

According to sources speaking with GI.biz, the 60-person studio has now been closed. Although EA would not comment specifically on whether there was truth to the story, the company noted that it is currently realigning its entire business and letting some staff go.

Gamasutra has contacted EA for clarification, but has so far received only confirmation that the layoffs are real.


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Comments


Ramin Shokrizade
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I was very impressed with the game design of C&C Tiberium Alliances. I was not so impressed by Lords of Ultima. It was my impression that both of these products were severely hampered by pay to win f2P business models that were a complete mismatch with the genre type and target audience.

Jon Smith
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Man. You'd think developers would stop selling to EA. They miss once and EA gives the developer the axe. Although I imagine it's more of a problem with the developer owners getting boatloads of money and jumping ship with two sacks of money in hand.

Joshua McDonald
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Sadly, EA claimed a year or two ago that Battleforge (one of my favorite games, BTW), had made a lot of money after switching to F2P, but then they gave it minuscule support and no advertising post-launch, so of course the money dried up.

Ramin Shokrizade
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I am wondering if many of the products that "switch to F2P" see an initial revenue spike followed by a rapid loss of revenue. I have some ideas about what is happening here but do not have enough access to the data these companies have. I'm wondering if a similar effect was seen here, and this caused EA to decide that marketing dollars would not yield revenue exceeding those marketing expenses.

Johnathon Swift
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I wouldn't be surprised. "Free to play" might be "new" to video games, but the razors and razor blades, or rather printers and printer ink, business model has been around for quite a lot longer than just a few years. People will be happy to get a free printer, but will quickly tire of incredibly expensive ink for it. And since their initial investment in the product wasn't appreciable anyway, they'll see no problem in simply trying something else.

Gil Salvado
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As far as I know, and I talked to one of Phenomic's Level Designers at a lecture, the studios idea was to launch the game as free-to-play, but EA's wanted a boxed title. I wonder how that would've turned out.

dana mcdonald
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This is very sad. Battleforge is one of my all time favorite games, and I recently got a couple of friends to try it out, who both liked it so much they dropped money on it. Hopefully it isn't shut down.
I have never played Phenomic's other games, but I think Battleforge had obvious passion behind it's developement, and it's sad to see a studio with good employees get shut down.

Gil Salvado
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I know some people at Phenomic and the amount of additional bureaucracy that was forced on the studio by EA probably made development quiet slow considering the studios staff size. Nevertheless, Phenomic managed to improve on its game development. Tiberium Alliances was already in its Closed Beta a very good game.

My best wishes go out to the people of Phenomic. Especially to the ones I know personally. Hope they all find a new job soon, but it's getting harder and harder within Germany.


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