EA To Extinguish Bright Light

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Electronic Arts says it will try to keep staff on, as its Bright Light studio closes down

After being spared from Electronic Arts’ (EA) thousand-staff redundancy in 2009, Bright Light Studios, it has been announced, will now be closed, leaving Criterion as EA’s only remaining studio in the UK.

The announcement falls in line with the company’s strategy to “centralise development on future projects, reduce development costs and will allow for better knowledge and talent sharing within the organization, “said EA in a statement.

The company has stated, however, that it plans to, as far as possible, relocate staff to other EA Studios including those in the UK.  “The UK is a vital centre of game development for EA and we intend to maintain a strong presence here,” according to the statement.

According to government figures released last year, and despite wavering support from law makers, the UK is the fourth largest producer of computer games in the world and the largest in Europe, sighting a £3.31 billion contribution to the economy, with video games software sales accounting for £1.6 billion.

Bright Light Studios is responsible for developing the highly successful Harry Potter game series, games like Theme Park, Syndicate, Populous, and Dungeon Keeper, when it was part of Bullfrog Productions, as well as working on games for Nintendo, and Need for Speed Shift for the PSP.

“Although Electronic Arts has engaged in various restructuring activities in the past, each has been a discrete, extraordinary event based on a unique set of business objectives. Each of these restructurings has been unlike its predecessors in terms of its operational implementation, business impact and scope,” said an EA spokesperson.

The company is due to release its financial results for the second quarter fiscal year 2012 on 27 October.

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