Gaming giant Electronic Arts is cutting 1,000 jobs worldwide, or 10 percent of its staff, in a bid to save money after a year where the company had, in the words of CEO John Riccitello, seen a “slowdown at retail.” Nine studios will be shuttered, including downtown Vancouver’s own Black Box Studios. EA hopes to save approximately $120 million annually from the cuts. The Black Box staff will be moved to EA’s Burnaby campus, but there’s been no word as of yet as to whether any of EA’s 1,800 employees in the Lower Mainland will be affected.
This wide-reaching measure comes on the heels of EA pulling out of a planned Yaletown office, which is now being leased. It remains to be seen if other Vancouver game studios will be affected by the downturn, but these losses show that even though entertainment is considered “recession-proof,” that isn’t always necessarily the case.