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Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) is an American developer, marketer, publisher and
distributor of video games headquartered in Redwood City, California, USA.
Founded and incorporated on May 28, 1982 by Trip Hawkins, the company was a
pioneer of the early home computer games industry and was notable for promoting
the designers and programmers responsible for its games. In 2011 Electronic Arts
was the world's third-largest gaming company by revenue after Nintendo and
Currently, EA develops and publishes games under several labels including EA Sports titles, Madden NFL, FIFA, NHL, NCAA Football, NBA Live, and SSX. Other EA labels produce established franchises such as Battlefield, Need for Speed, The Sims, Medal of Honor, Command & Conquer, as well as newer franchises such as Dead Space, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Army of Two and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, produced in partnership with LucasArts.4 EA also owns and operates major gaming studios, Tiburon in Orlando, EA Canada in Burnaby, BioWare in Edmonton as well as Montreal and DICE in Sweden.
It was revealed in February 2008 that Electronic Arts had made a takeover bid for rival game company Take-Two Interactive. After its initial offer of US$25 per share, all cash stock transaction offer was rejected by the Take-Two board, EA revised it to US$26 per share, a 64% premium over the previous day's closing price and made the offer known to the public.30 Rumours had been floating around the Internet prior to the offer about Take-Two possibly being bought over by a bigger company, albeit with Viacom as the potential bidder.3132 In May 2008, EA announced that it will purchase the assets of Hands-On Mobile Korea, a South Korean mobile game developer and publisher. The company will become EA Mobile Korea.33 In September 2008, EA dropped its buyout offer of Take-Two. No reason was given.34
As of Nov 6, 2008 it was confirmed that Electronic Arts is closing their Casual Label & merging it with their Hasbro partnership with The Sims Label.35 EA also confirmed the departure of Kathy Vrabeck, who was given the position as former president of the EA Casual Division in May 2007. EA made this statement about the merger: "We've learned a lot about casual entertainment in the past two years, and found that casual gaming defies a single genre and demographic. With the retirement and departure of Kathy Vrabeck, EA is reorganizing to integrate casual games¡ªdevelopment and marketing¡ªinto other divisions of our business. We are merging our Casual Studios, Hasbro partnership, and Casual marketing organization with The Sims Label to be a new Sims and Casual Label, where there is a deep compatibility in the product design, marketing and demographics. ... In the days and weeks ahead, we will make further announcements on the reporting structure for the other businesses in the Casual Label including EA Mobile, Pogo, Media Sales and Online Casual Initiatives. Those businesses remain growth priorities for EA and deserve strong support in a group that will compliment their objectives."36 This statement comes a week after EA announced it was laying off 6% about 600 of their staff positions and had a US$310 million net loss for the quarter.37
Due to the 2008 Economic Crisis, Electronic Arts had a poorer than expected 2008 holiday season, moving it in February 2009 to cut approximately 1100 jobs, which it said represented about 11% of its workforce. It will also close 12 facilities, yet to be identified. Riccitiello, in a conference call with reporters, stated that their poor performance in the fourth quarter was not due entirely to the poor economy, but also to the fact that they did not release any blockbuster titles in the quarter. In the quarter ending December 31, 2008, the company lost US$641 million. As of early May 2009, the subsidiary studio EA Redwood Shores was known as Visceral Games.3839 On June 24, 2009, EA announced it will merge two of its development studios, BioWare and Mythic into one single role-playing video game and MMO development powerhouse. The move will actually place Mythic under control of BioWare as Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will be in direct control of the new entity. The actual impact of this merger remains to be seen. Download