An Updated List Of Studios EA Has Bought And Then Shut Down

Illustration for article titled An Updated List Of Studios EA Has Bought And Then Shut Down

Massive game publisher Electronic Arts has a reputation for snatching up talented development studios and then running them into the ground.


While some of EA's big acquisitions remain successful today—like DICE and BioWare—the mega-publisher has also been responsible for the closures of a number of beloved game-makers. In the wake of today's news that SimCity developer Maxis Emeryville is no more, let's take a look at a newly-updated list of studios that EA has purchased only to shut down later.

Maxis (SimCity) - Purchased by EA in 1997; shut down in 2015. [Though EA says the "Maxis" brand will live on—and the studio currently behind The Sims continues to use the label—the Emeryville-based development house that served as the main descendant of what Will Wright created back in 1987 is officially no more.]

Mythic (Dark Age of Camelot) - Purchased by EA in 2006; shut down in 2014.

Bullfrog (Syndicate, Dungeon Keeper) - Purchased by EA in 1995; shut down in 2001.

Origin (Ultima, Wing Commander) - Purchased by EA in 1992; shut down in 2004.

Westwood (Command & Conquer) - Purchased by EA in 1998; shut down in 2003.

DreamWorks Interactive/Danger Close/EA Los Angeles (Medal of Honor) - Purchased by EA in 2000; shut down in 2013.


Phenomic (SpellForce, BattleForge) - Purchased by EA in 2006; shut down in 2013.

Black Box Games (Need for Speed, Skate) - Purchased by EA in 2002; shut down in 2013.


Pandemic (The Saboteur) - Purchased by EA in 2008; shut down in 2009.

PlayFish (The Sims Social) - Purchased by EA in 2009; shut down in 2013.

NuFX (NBA Street) - Purchased by EA in 2004; shut down in 2007.

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Gamegated ManFortress

The treatment of these tiny studios underneath major publishers is abhorrent. Workers being given crazy hours and no overtime pay, bonuses being withheld, and studios being shut down even after successful products are shipped. The entire industry seems highly Unethical. If ONLY there existed a group whose main focus was Ethics within the Games Industry that might step up and champion the plight of these people...

Too bad no such group exists.

Anyways, have you heard that some reviewers get a video game poster and don't disclose it? This is a crime against humanity.