EA's Bright Light Studio in the UK has been officially shuttered, Develop reports. In October Bright Light was in the midst of a formal consultation process, a period of time required by UK law before a company can shut down completely, dependent on how many employees it has. Bright Light, responsible for three of the most recent Harry Potter games, closed late in 2010, Develop says.
EA said previously that it would consider Bright Light employees for positions at other EA Studios, and Develop reports some have indeed moved to EA's Criterion and Playfish, while others have joined nearby studios Jagex and Supermassive Games.
The "wizards" of Harry Potter would rather speak to one another by turning themselves into fireplace embers than using a phone, and they invented newspapers with moving pictures in them instead of learning how a TV works. We're pretty sure that Voldemort would run shrieking from a PlayStation 3.
But you know how to wield a PS3's magic, so you can take advantage of this powerful Muggle artifact. Starting this week, you'll be able to buy a special PS3 bundle containing a 160GB PS3, a Blu-Ray of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in both 2D and 3D, and download vouchers for the first two Harry Potter movies. You'll also get 30 days of PlayStation Plus, meaning that some of the items in the PlayStation Store will suddenly be cheaper for you, as if by magic.
The body count for established British studios keeps rising, with EA Bright Light the latest in the crosshairs. EA confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that a "formal consultation process" has begun at the studio. That's a fancy term for the time required under UK law (dependent on number of employees) before the publisher can shut down the studio.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the latest project from the studio, a title we couldn't be bothered to review after the previous installment. Apparently we didn't miss anything.
"Employees that are impacted will be considered for positions at other EA Studios including those in the UK," EA said in a statement. "The UK is a vital centre of game development for EA and we intend to maintain a strong presence here."
You know, with the one studio EA officially has left on the island.
I consider the first Deathly Hallows video game to be "It That Shall Not Be Named." The debut of the more action-oriented Potter lacked a decent structure, pace, plot, and shooter mechanics. In other words, it sucked. But if the first game was the equivalent of Voldemort, then the sequel is more lik...
With part two of the one-part Harry Potter book finale making its way to theaters, it's time to take a look at the video game based on the movie based on the book... and the portable based on that. More »
Last November, our review called the first Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows game a "failure on many, many levels." It ran down the various ways that the game didn't deliver: as a representation of the franchise, as a game, as a demonstration of Kinect and, finally, as an overall product.
EA's proprietary engine, used to build DH Part 2, has been beefed up a bit, giving Harry and co. a bit more sheen than before, and the spell-switching has been streamlined to rely on face buttons to swap spells. Otherwise, it's still a pedestrian third-person shooter with a Harry Potter wrapper, with few meaningful ties to J.K. Rowling's series. (And the Kinect part is just gone).
It's no secret that I wasn't a huge fan of the last Harry Potter game. I didn't have a problem with it taking the form of a third-person shooter to fit the more action-oriented, faster pace of the final novel, but I didn't enjoy the messy narrative style and imprecise mechanics.