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John Riccitiello Resigns From Electronic Arts

EA CEO John Riccitiello submitted his resignation, effective March 30, the video game company announced Monday. In a blog post on the company’s website, executive chairman Larry Probst said the Board of Directors will immediately begin a search inside and outside the company for Riccitiello’s successor.  Check out the Press release below.   Electronic Arts Announces Change in Executive Leadership Larry Probst Appointed Executive Chairman, Effective Immediately Company Updates 2013 Fiscal Outlook REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that John Riccitiello will step down as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board of Directors, effective March 30. The Board has appointed Larry Probst as Executive Chairman to ensure a smooth transition and to lead EA’s executive team while the Board conducts a search for a permanent CEO. The Board will consider internal and external candidates with the assistance of a leading executive search firm. Mr. Probst has played a leadership…

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EA Believes “Freemium” is the Future

Are free to play games with paid upgrades the way of the future? What happened to the days when you go to the store, buy a game and then own it outright- all of it, the full versions of it to play as you choose? Some said that SWTOR would be the last pay to play MMORPG and even it has now gone F2P. Of course, many question how “free” it actually is when there are so many restrictions that you need to pay to unlock. This is what many call “freemium” gameplay models. And if you ask Electronic Arts, freemium is where it’s at. Gamespot tells us: The freemium business model is “where things are going,” according to Electronic Arts vice president of mobile and social studios Nick Earl. Speaking to GameSpot sister site CNET about the recent launch of Real Racing 3, the executive explained that the mobile…

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Irish BioWare Support Center for SWTOR Converting to General EA Use

The BioWare facility that was just built last year in Galway, Ireland to be a support center for SWTOR is now expanding and will become the home to EA’s European customer service needs. Basically this means that it will be general EA use and not strictly SWTOR support. They will offer support from this facility to all of EA’s major titles. They have dropped the BioWare Ireland name and will be hiring more than 300 new employees over the course of the next few months. The Irish Government looks at this as a good opportunity for job growth and is supportive of the expansion and what video games can do for their economy and job force. Learn more from this story over at  Massively.

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SWTOR Community Management Team Hit with Layoffs

I brought you the story of layoffs at BioWare Austin yesterday. This was the second set of layoffs for the company this year and it seemed to come as a big shock, even to those affected. What would you do if you showed up for work one day like usual and were told to pack it up and go home? In this economy, there are probably many readers who can relate. Layoffs were first confirmed by developer Ben Marshall, who wrote the following in a status update on Twitter (the update has since been deleted): “Anyone know of a web developer position open in the Austin, TX area? Second round of layoffs at BioWare Austin and my name was on the list…” We also told you just recently about Georg Zoeller’s departure from the company. BioWare has yet to a announce replacement for Vogel as executive producer. Also announced today: EA to…

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EA Denies SWTOR Job Cut Rumors

If you heard the news this week about Electronic Arts, then you may have heard they are laying off a lot of people. While it is true that the company is making some cuts, they are not “layoffs” in the traditional sense and they are not downsizing because SWTOR has failed. Actually, EA, like many gaming companies, has a huge variety of projects going on at different times. They may increase staff while they finish up a game project and then let those people go to other departments or let them go completely once the game is completed. This is how the industry works. Most game designers, writers and artists are hired on a project-by-project basis, not as actually company staff members. EA itself has basically said as much when the rumors spread about the layoffs: “There are no lay-offs as such, we always have projects growing and morphing,” EA…

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Is EA The Worst Company in the US Today?

The Consumerist website has a yearly contest that is voted on by consumers on who they think is the worst company in the US.  Many thought that some of the big banks or even online video companies would make the top spot this year but surprisingly, EA took it. EA had this to say about their spot as reported by whatculture.com: “We’re sure that bank presidents, oil, tobacco and weapons companies are all relieved they weren’t on the list this year, we’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.” It seems as though EA is not very pleased about this award, even the folks at whatculture.com thought the answer was a bit ironic: “EA had a not so witty retort to the poll, showing it probably got under their skin a little which to me is a good thing.” Now, since…

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