Solomon's Key for the NES was released in Japan on this day in 1986.

Electronic Arts, Inc.

Overview

Founded in 1982 as Amazin' Software by Trip Hawkins, Electronic Arts (EA) has built an empire of brand labels. Initially, EA published its titles under three different logos: EA Sports, EA Games, and EA Sports Big. The company is considered one of the largest players in the industry, often through acquisitions of successful development studios.

Electronic Arts Distribution (EAD) was EA's third party publishing house, which distributed titles from the likes of Disney Interactive, LEGO, LucasArts, Squaresoft, and more through-out Europe, the United States, and Asia-Pacific (Australia). EAD was in existence from 1987-1991 and lead by Larry Probst, Senior VP at the time. Distribution of third-party titles continued with the division EA Distribution, until September 1997 when it was reformed to include full publishing, with development and marketing as well. In June 2003 the initiative was renamed EA Partners.

EA Studios is EA's development arm, which consists of studios dotted around the United States, with the more common studios in use in Seattle and Canada. EA also has development studios in Japan and London.

The company had a disappointing fiscal year in 2007. They miscalculated the success of the Nintendo Wii and focused mainly on the Xbox 360 and the PS3, resulting in only two Wii launch titles, ports of existing games: Need for Speed: Carbon and Madden NFL 07. To catch up, they acquired Headgate Studios which they had been working together with for the Tiger Woods PGA series since 2000, and turned it into EA Salt Lake, focusing the studio entirely on Wii development.

In June 2007, the company was reorganized into four labels:The four labels are supported by two new groups: Central Development Services and Global Publishing. Central Development Services, both led by Executive Vice President John Schappert. The Casual label was closed in November 2008 and merged into The Sims label along with the Hasbro partnership. The Sims as a label also disappeared. In 2011, the following four labels are used:

Acquired development studios and companiesEstablished development studiosIn February 2008, the company also set its sights on major publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and most importantly the Rockstar studios it owns, mostly in response of the merger between Activision and Vivendi, but eventually in October 2008 it was confirmed there was no agreement.

In November 2009, EA announced to axe 1,500 jobs by the end of March 2010 as part of a new cost reduction plan, following net losses that increased during its second quarter to USD 391 million. Several studios are said to be closed or restructured.

Also Known As

  • EA Studios
  • Amazin' Software (from 1982 to 1983)


Trivia

In the German gaming magazine Power Play (issue 01/1991) Electronic Arts was named as "Best Software Company in 1990".

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