Today, we got some shock news from numerous industry sources that has us all feeling pretty bummed. It seems that EA, the only international game publisher with local offices, will be closing down its South African branch.
EA South Africa, which functioned in the areas of “Sales, Marketing, Finance, IT and Operations” will soon be no longer. EA also manufactured its own PC versions of games locally. We’ve been told that South African EA staff have, as a result, been retrenched – but we’ve also been told they’ve been “looked after” quite nicely in the form of compensation.
What this means for you is that your EA games are quite possibly set to become just a little more expensive, as they’ll now be going through middlemen. It’s not quite certain who’ll be distributing EA games in South Africa in future, but we expect the current distributors to look at bidding. Apex Interactivel already functions as an EA sub-distributor, so it would be easy to imagine them in the lead.
This is quite a blow to the local industry, which seemed like it was primed and ready to become bigger and better. No matter what your feelings about EA as a company, having local EA offices was a good thing; EA games were always considerably cheaper than those from other publishers.
We’ve contacted EA South Africa as well as EA International for comment and tacit confirmation – and will keep you updated. The only comment we’ve been able to get from EA thus far is “Unfortunately, I cannot comment.”
Last Updated: May 8, 2013