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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » EA Phenomic - Shutdown and Shuttered

Default EA Phenomic - Shutdown and Shuttered

July 13th, 2013, 06:25
Phenomicus the developer who made SpellForce, and SpellForce 2 has been been closed according to a report on GamesIndustry.biz.
Electronic Arts has closed EA Phenomic, the 60-person strategy developer behind Spellforce and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances.

The situation at Phenomic was brought to the attention of GamesIndustry International by a number of sources with knowledge of the studio and its employees. EA would not comment on the specifics of Phenomic's position, but offered the following statement regarding the ongoing internal restructuring in the company as a whole:

"As part of EA's realignment in recent weeks, we have announced internally a small adjustment to some development staff to better focus our teams against priority growth areas. The decision to let people go is not something we take lightly and we are working to ensure that impacted employees are treated fairly and with respect for their contributions to EA, and with assistance to find other job opportunities.

"These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us"

The EA representative also told us that the company has no plans to move away from free-to-play or strategy games.

EA Phenomic is based in Ingelheim am Rhein, near to Frankfurt, Germany. At its peak, the studio employed 60 people.

The company was established as "Phenomic Game Development" in 1997 by Volker Wertich, who had been instrumental in the development The Settlers while at Blue Byte Software. Phenomic then established the Spellforce franchise, before being acquired by Electronic Arts in August, 2006, and renamed "EA Phenomic".
Now excuse me as I go mourn for a studio that once made games I loved. Damn you EA. Also Credit goes to Gamnebanshee for finding the story.

More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; July 13th, 2013 at 23:37.
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July 13th, 2013, 06:25
Well that's just plain sad, loved both of the Spellforce games and still play them today. I think Phenomic's going over to EA sucked some of the life out of them, BattleForge didn't do much for me.
Maybe they will make a comeback through a Kickstarter at some point in the future.
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July 13th, 2013, 06:35
So another developer EA bought and then destroyed. Any developer looking at selling to a publisher shouldn't choose EA since this will likely happen.
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July 13th, 2013, 08:47
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
So another developer EA bought and then destroyed. Any developer looking at selling to a publisher shouldn't choose EA since this will likely happen.
Why would they care what EA does with their company, as long as they get their money out of the deal?
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July 13th, 2013, 09:24
That's sad. I've played all the Spellforce games and thought they were pretty fun. EA has to keep that Most hated company in America award on their mantel somehow.
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July 13th, 2013, 09:42
R.I.P. Phenomic.

Spellforce 1 and its sequels are my most often replayed games even before Might & Magic 6 and 7.

I hope that Nordic manages to publish a Spellforce 3 one day…at least Faith in Destiny and its DLCs gave me a little bit of hope.
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July 13th, 2013, 10:18
Does this mean Jon Van Caneghem is again out of business?

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July 13th, 2013, 10:19
To be fair, it's hard to say what would have become of them if they had remained independent. It's pretty hard to maintain companies of that size without a string of hits, viz what just happened to Gas Powered Games. Lets hope Phenomics best people get to go where the ideas are.
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July 13th, 2013, 11:50
Phenomic is a well known developer here in Germany. Everyone knows them.

The learning lesson is just this : Never ever never ever sell your own company to EA or any one of the "big ones" …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 13th, 2013, 13:23
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The learning lesson is just this : Never ever never ever sell your own company to EA or any one of the "big ones"
Unless you want/need money and dont care about collateral damage.
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July 13th, 2013, 13:58
First comes greed then the downfall.
Love the Spellforce games. Maybe they restart and create games for us fans again?
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July 13th, 2013, 14:17
Originally Posted by vidder View Post
First comes greed then the downfall.
Yeah, but take a lesson from the banks; the greedy guys already bought their pile in Surrey, the downfall is for the suckers who got left behind.
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July 13th, 2013, 14:40
I never was much into RTS games, but the Spellforce games had just enough RPG elements to make them appealing to me. I really enjoyed them and I found they had a lot of replay value. I hope that Nordic games continues the series and we see a Spellforce 3 at some point in the future.
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July 13th, 2013, 15:36
As tragic as this is for the people in EA Phenomic, let me remind you about Gas Powered Games, where the management e.g. the leader of that company refused to sell to anyone. In the end, he had to sell - to a White Russian company which delivers and develops online games.

Try to think of it this way: If EA hadn't bought phenomic in 2006, maybe, just maybe Phenomic would have been forced to close in 2006, not 2013. Businesswise as welll as moneywise, it is the job of the management, as wellas the CEO, to make sure that there also is a company in the future. This also includes deciding deciding on 'priority growth areas' e.g. should EA make rpgs or sportsgames or rts games a priority in the future.

And yes, sad as this is, some people get caught up into the crossfire of all this. And lose their jobs. The only relief, I can see from this presse release is this: It is all of the people at EA Phenomic who lose their job, not only a few…

Please support http://www.maternityworldwide.org/ - and save a mother giving birth to a child.
Last edited by aries100; July 13th, 2013 at 15:36. Reason: spelling
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July 13th, 2013, 15:52
And EA keeps being the Black Hole where game studios are sucked in, never to emerge again…
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July 13th, 2013, 17:31
I lump EA with Ubi…..I never buy from either of them. If you want to protest against something, protest with your wallet. No matter how big a company is, THAT is something they truly understand.



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July 13th, 2013, 18:18
Dear RPGWatch,

http://gamebanshee.com/news/111821-e…shuttered.html

Stop stealing/copy-pasting our news stories without even having the courtesy to mention your source or changing the text even slightly.

This has been going on for years now. I have brought it up privately in the past and was completely ignored - clearly the staff does not care about the integrity of their content and web site, but maybe the fans do?

Note: every time I personally report on a story that I've found on RPGWatch, I give credit. All I ask is the same mutual respect among the rest of the RPG community.

I should note that original content posted on GameBanshee is protected under copyright law. Stealing our content is not only disreputable and offensive, it's also illegal.
Last edited by sea; July 13th, 2013 at 18:29.
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July 13th, 2013, 18:34
Originally Posted by sea View Post
Dear RPGWatch,

http://gamebanshee.com/news/111821-e…shuttered.html

Stop stealing/copy-pasting our news stories without even having the courtesy to mention your source or changing the text even slightly.

This has been going on for years now. I have brought it up privately in the past and was completely ignored - clearly the staff does not care about the integrity of their content and web site, but maybe the fans do?

Note: every time I personally report on a story that I've found on RPGWatch, I give credit. All I ask is the same mutual respect among the rest of the RPG community.

I should note that original content posted on GameBanshee is protected under copyright law.
As a "fan", firstly, I reckon you should have brought this up directly with Watch, before posting it here, regardless of what happened "in the past". And presumably, since the original source of this information is not your site, you are only complaining about the first two lines. I'm sure this kind of thing can be sorted amicably, but it hardly helps to start off by questioning people's integrity.
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July 13th, 2013, 18:56
Tsk tsk.
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July 13th, 2013, 19:09
Originally Posted by sea View Post
Dear RPGWatch,

http://gamebanshee.com/news/111821-e…shuttered.html

Stop stealing/copy-pasting our news stories without even having the courtesy to mention your source or changing the text even slightly.

This has been going on for years now. I have brought it up privately in the past and was completely ignored - clearly the staff does not care about the integrity of their content and web site, but maybe the fans do?

Note: every time I personally report on a story that I've found on RPGWatch, I give credit. All I ask is the same mutual respect among the rest of the RPG community.

I should note that original content posted on GameBanshee is protected under copyright law. Stealing our content is not only disreputable and offensive, it's also illegal.
While I feel quite strongly about stealing content from other sites and think those people should burn in the lower hells, I don't think RPGWatch and its staff are doing it intentionally and would gladly resolve it amicably. My guess is that it was an honest mistake.
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