Plugged In

Economic woes hit gaming world hard

While video-game sales continue to be strong, the industry itself is not immune from the financial crisis currently gripping the nation. The latest example of that came this week as three of the biggest players in the business — Electronic Arts, Microsoft and Sony — announced massive job cuts.

Sony, whose PlayStation 3 continues to be mired in third place this console generation, announced major restructuring and losses of nearly $3 billion. Losses in the company’s gaming division grew to $338 million. As a result, Sony plans to close one television manufacturing plant in Japan and eliminate roughly 2,000 jobs.

Sony’s chief rival in the gaming world, Microsoft, plans to cut 5,000 jobs after its second-quarter revenues fell short of their projected target. None of the cuts are expected to come from within the company’s gaming division, which saw its revenues increase three percent.

The harshest cuts appear to have come from EA which, according to reports, has laid off a number of employees at the company’s Tiburon development studio (the folks behind “Madden NFL Football,” “NCAA Football” and “Tiger Woods.”) In addition, Gamasutra reports that as many as 200 of the 350 employees at EA Black Box, which developed the recently-released “Skate 2,” will be let go or folded into the company’s EA Burnaby studio.

While this latest round of cuts is certainly disheartening, it’s likely only the tip of the iceberg.