Electronic Arts has confirmed major lay-offs across the company, but focusing on marketing and publishing rather than developers.
Apart from the success of Apex Legends it’s been a grim couple of years for EA, with high profile disappointments such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, Star Wars: Battlefront II, Battlefield V, and Anthem.
None of those games sold or reviewed that badly but they were all below expectations and that’s caused the inevitable job losses at the top of the business, with multiple execs being pushed out.
Oh wait, no of course it hasn’t. It has instead led to those further down the corporate ladder being blamed for it all and 350 lay-offs in marketing, publishing, and other areas.
The news follows even more severe lay-offs earlier in the year at rival Activision Blizzard, where almost 800 staff were affected.
According to website Kotaku the move had been expected by EA staff for some time now, following a freeze on hiring and marketing expenses.
An email obtained by Kotaku, and sent by EA boss Andrew Wilson, claims that the redundancies are intended to streamline decision-making, improve customer support, and help change the company’s approach in international markets – including closing EA’s offices in Russia and Japan.
‘We have a vision to be the World’s Greatest Games Company,’ wrote Wilson. ‘If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re not there right now. We have work to do with our games, our player relationships, and our business.’
‘Across the company, teams are already taking action to ensure we are creating higher-quality games and live services, reaching more platforms with our content and subscriptions, improving our Frostbite tools, focusing our network and cloud gaming priorities, and closing the gap between us and our player communities’.
EA’s official statement on the move is as follows. Metro extends its sympathies to all those affected by the lay-offs.
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.’
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