Many rumors abound when something like this happens. Did DICE shut down their New York studio at their own behest or is the always-infamous EA up to more of that it-would-be-shocking-if-it-were-anyone-but-EA flava? The truth is, no one knows. From the outside, this sequence of events--
1.) Battlefield: 1942 is released to much acclaim
2.) A very popular mod to Battlefield known as Desert Combat is released by a team calling themselves Trauma Studios.
3.) Trauma is purchased by DICE/EA and becomes DICE's New York office.
4.) Battlefield 2--an obvious sequel to Desert Combat rather than BF1942--is finished and soon to be shipped out to a ravenous fan base.
5.) The DICE New York office is shut down.
--looks very suspicious, to put it gently. EA owns all and is all and has been known in the past to perform similar machinations of evil-ness upon those it no longer finds useful. So, one can't help but wonder if while the head of Trauma studios declares the decision to be DICE's alone, there isn't something more sinister at work. True, the 12 Trauma folks were offered a job at the DICE offices in Sweden, but that's sort of like offering to pay for the abortion after knocking up your best friend's kid sister.
What this reminds me the most of is the early days of movie consolidation and the monopolization of animation studios. Much like the game developers of today, most of the day-to-day entertainment laborers of yesteryear had to put up with insidious business practices orchestrated by the trusts if they wanted to, you know, eat and stuff. This included the hiring and firing of entire teams centered around specific projects and controlling the methods of distribution, production, financing and marketing through megalithic corporate entities with whom you either played ball or got played. It took organizing into unions--often violently--in order to trade sweatshops for decent working hours and the fear of being laid-off with the confidence of social benefits.
Is it time to get serious about organized labour for software development? Is it even possible in a globalized marketplace where the work for anyone asking slightly more than minimum wage can be ported overseas faster than you can say "industry-wide-hegemony"?