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VU Games Cuts

Vivendi Universal Games sends along the announcement of a reorganization, which is costing 350 people their jobs. The release specifies that Blizzard is not impacted by the moves, but it seems likely this is connected with recent speculative stories of the closings of Papyrus (story) and Impressions (story). Here's the word:

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL GAMES ANNOUNCES REORGANIZATION AND COST REDUCTIONS AS PART OF TURNAROUND PLAN

LOS ANGELES June 21, 2004 Vivendi Universal Games (VU Games) today announced another step in its turnaround plan to improve operating effectiveness, reduce costs and position for growth. The changes include a significant staff reduction in its North American based operations resulting in the elimination of 350 staff positions. The Company's Blizzard Entertainment studio was not part of the staff reduction.

"Restructuring the organization and reducing our cost base are necessary to improve our operating effectiveness and profitability," said VU Games CEO Bruce Hack. "This constitutes another important step in our turnaround plan aimed to better position the Company for growth."

With a global and more focused organization in place, VU Games is looking ahead to the second half of the year with several major releases scheduled for launch. VU Games plans to release World of Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment, marking the Company's entry into the massively multi-player online role-playing games category. Other current and upcoming releases for 2004 include Crash Twinsanity, Leisure Suit Larry, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Van Helsing, Ground Control II, Fight Club and Spyro: A Hero's Tail.

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