Every time we hear about a company laying off its employees, we hate to be among the many that report on this. This is especially frustrating when we’re hearing about these things, back to back.
Today, Electronic Arts announced that they were going through another round of layoffs which would affect 350 people in EA’s marketing, publishing and operations teams. Just last month they released 50 employees from Australian studio, FireMonkeys. This also the more recent layoffs by Activision Blizzard and ArenaNet.
Despite the lackluster launch of Anthem, a game that didn’t provide the experience gamers were hoping for, it did live up to the company’s expectations. While Battlefield V continues to flops with weak sales, likely due to EA and Dice not listening to the fans of the series.
According to EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson, the decision to release these employees was not something that was taken lightly.
Here’s the full statement:
Today we took some important steps as a company to address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead. As we look across a changing world around us, it’s clear that we must change with it. We’re making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs of our players. As part of this, we have made changes to our marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams, and we are ramping down our current presence in Japan and Russia as we focus on different ways to serve our players in those markets. In addition to organizational changes, we are deeply focused on increasing quality in our games and services. Great games will continue to be at the core of everything we do, and we are thinking differently about how to amaze and inspire our players.
This is a difficult day. The changes we’re making today will impact about 350 roles in our 9,000-person company. These are important but very hard decisions, and we do not take them lightly. We are friends and colleagues at EA, we appreciate and value everyone’s contributions, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we are looking after our people to help them through this period to find their next opportunity. This is our top priority.
The only silver lining to this, if you can call it that, is that EA will be providing a severance package to those affected by the layoffs. Kotaku also reports that an employee reached out to them and had stated that this reorganization was apparently expected since October 2018. According to this person, EA had already put freezes on both new hires and travel expenses. The writing was already on the wall, I can’t imagine working with all of that going on. That definitely had to weigh heavily on everyone in those departments.
I’m sure this is going to provide more ammo for the ever-growing surrounding the unionization of the video games industry.
One thing is for sure, we’ve seen more than a fair share of layoffs these past few months. Which is unexpected as the gaming industry has been experiencing one of its more lucrative years in quite some time. Yet, more and more people in the industry have been losing their jobs or voluntarily leaving. Which begs to ask the question, how many more layoffs and closures are we going to see this year?