Multiple, senior gaming industry sources have informed MediaNama that Electronic Arts is shutting down its India sales and marketing office. We’re told that the development part of EAs business in Hyderabad will not be affected. The sales and marketing operations will now be handled by EAs Singapore office, and their Gurgaon operations will be impacted, though we’re still awaiting a response to our call and SMS’ from Ajay Khanna, Country Manager (India) for EA. Khanna is currently travelling, and responded to our initial SMS, but not subsequent messages asking for a confirmation or a denial of the developments.
This is probably a part of a larger cost cutting exercise. EA reported a net loss of $310 million in its second quarter and announced a cost reduction initiative to save $50 million. It axed 6 percent of its workforce, reducing hiring and choose to expand in lower cost locations. EA has five studios globally and employs around 7,900 people, of which close to 5,500 employees are artists and game developers. The company holds around 25 % of the worldwide market share, and its turnover is around $ 3 Billion.
The company had tied up with a few Indian game development companies to develop Indian games but retained its focus on titles for the international market. EA has a game studio in Noida and a mobile game studio in Hyderabad which was set up in August 2008. The Hyderabad centre employs 250 who work on game development, services, mobile games as well as automation tools and technologies.
EA India claims to have recorded a 150% growth in sales of its PC and console games in India in the last two years. The company has been scouting for Indian game development firms to outsource game development to cut costs further.