'Creative' change for EA as teams merge in Guildford

'Creative' change for EA as teams merge in Guildford
Michael French

By Michael French

October 23rd 2006 at 11:45AM

More changes are afoot for EA UK Studios as it readies for the closure of its Warrington base – with its big Chertsey and Guildford teams set to merge.

Earlier this week staff at the studio in the North West were informed that the studio was to close. All workers have been offered the chance to relocate their role to the company's Chertsey or Guildford bases. Spokesperson Tiffany Steckler insisted the move was "not about cost reasons", rather "a creative decision based on the desire to have a reinforced development base in one location."

But this seems to be an ethos stretching out across all of the EA UK Studios: even more unification is set to take place next month when development teams from the company's two remaining UK studios are brought together in one building, based in Guildford.

Although EA wouldn't comment on this, admitting only that "There is a project in place looking at bringing everyone together in one place, but no announcement has been made yet", Guildford gossip says that the deal is done.

Word from the troops inside EA, where the mood towards the move is positive, is that the teams will be ensconced together by the end of the year.

Speaking specifically on Warrington, Steckler explained that "It's about about creating a creative hub for our UK development. After all, Guildford and Chertsey are only a few minutes apart, so there will be a great synergy across the teams and better for career development as it's much easier geographically."

But at the same time it's easy to see how this can also relate to soon to be centralised EA UK Studios as a whole; former Criterion boss Fiona Sperry took over as development GM earlier this year and is very keen to re-establish the EA UK name amongst development.