OverviewFounded 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:
- EA Casual (led by Kathy Vrabeck)
- EA Games (led by Frank Gibeau)
- EA Sports (led by Joel Linzner)
- The Sims (led by Nancy Smith until October 2008, then Rod Humble)
Acquired development studios and companies
- Distinctive Software, Inc. (1991 - has become EA Canada)
- ORIGIN Systems, Inc. (1992 - closed in 2004)
- Bullfrog Productions, Ltd. (1995, later part of EA Bright Light until that studio was closed in 2012)
- Maxis Software Inc. (1997)
- ABC Software (1998)
- Westwood Studios, Inc. (1998 - closed in 2003, now part of Danger Close, formerly known as EA Los Angeles)
- PlayNation (1999)
- Kesmai (1999)
- Dreamworks Interactive (2000 - now Danger Close, formerly known as EA Los Angeles)
- Black Box Games (2002 - now Electronic Arts Black Box)
- Studio 33 (2003)
- NuFX, Inc. (2004)
- Criterion (2004, later part of EA Bright Light until that studio was closed in 2012)
- Jamdat (2005)
- Mythic Entertainment (2006, later known as BioWare Mythic and Mythic - closed in 2014)
- Phenomic Game Development (2006 - now EA Phenomic)
- Digital Illusions CE (2006)
- Headgate Studios Inc. (2006 - now EA Salt Lake)
- BioWare Corp. (2008)
- Pandemic Studios (2008 - closed in 2009, partly folded into EA Los Angeles, now known as Danger Close)
- Hands-On Mobile Korea (2008 - now EA Mobile Korea)
- J2MSoft Inc. (2008)
- Bight Interactive (2009 - now Bight Games)
- J2Play Inc. (2009 - now EA Kitchener)
- Playfish, Ltd. (2009)
- Chillingo Ltd (2010)
- IronMonkey Studios (2010)
- Firemint Pty Ltd. (2011)
- Infinite Interactive Pty. Ltd. (2011 - through the Firemint acquisition)
- PopCap Games, Inc. (2011)
- EA Baltimore (1996-2000)
- Visceral Games (formerly Electronic Arts Redwood Shores Studio - 1998)
- Electronic Arts Mobile (Romania) S.R.L. (2005)
- EA Romania SRL (2008)
- Easy Studios (2008)
- Electronic Arts Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
- Pogo Austin (2008)
- 8lb Gorilla (2009)
- Visceral Games Australia (formerly Electronic Arts Melbourne - closed in September 2011)
- Victory Games (circa 2010-2011)
- Ghost Games (2012)
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.
Contributed by Kartanym (10744) on Oct 14, 2002. [revised by : 5 other people].