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EA confirms Battlefield 4 for next gen, calls it "nothing short of astonishing"

Labels president upbeat despite Montreal and Los Angeles layoffs

EA has laid off a number of developers in the Montreal and Los Angeles areas, as part of what EA labels president Frank Gibeau terms the "complex and challenging experience" of transiting console generations. Naturally, he's tremendously upbeat about the publisher's prospects as a whole, touting the virtues of Battlefield 4 in particular.

We're unable to confirm which teams are affected, but Eurogamer and Kotaku suggest that Army of Two developer Visceral Montreal and Medal of Honor: Warfighter studio Danger Close may be among those hit. EA has taken the Medal of Honor franchise out of its release "rotation" following dismal Warfighter sales.

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In a blog post over at EA.com, Gibeau hailed the power of next generation gaming technology and discussed how the publisher would adapt to succeed on new platforms. "For EA's creative teams, this transition comes as no surprise," he began.

"We've been investing and innovating on new technology for months," he continued. "Console partners who have seen our early work agree, EA's next-gen software is nothing short of astonishing. At a GameStop company meeting earlier this week, we gave 500 store managers a sneak peak at Battlefield 4. The game received a huge ovation and thousands of fans reacted to a single enthusiastic Tweet by GameStop's CEO."

On 31st January, Gibeau revealed to investors that EA would share the first proper details of Battlefield 4 in "about 90 days". The game is apparently coming out "next year", with the next Xbox rumoured to show up before this Christmas.

"And every bit as impressive as the console initiative is the way our teams have pivoted to capture the mobile phenomenon," the blog post goes on. "EA has established a clear leadership position on both the iOS and Android systems and we've set new standards for business models and gameplay.

"The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been a runaway success and next week we will release Real Racing 3, a free-to-play masterpiece from our Firemonkeys studio, with graphics many people mistake for a current generation console experience."

"EA's leadership on these high-growth platforms allows us to retain and attract the industry's best talent," Gibeau declared. "Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives.

"But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.

"Console transitions are a complex and challenging experience. I've helped navigate several and agree with an old saying we have at EA: Transition is our friend. All the trend lines are converging to reward the creative and financial investments we have made in mobile and console technology. We have never been more ready or more excited about what comes next."

Best of luck to all those who lost their jobs this week. Analysts suggest that Battlefield could "dethrone" Call of Duty during the next gen switch-over - reckon they're in with a chance?

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