EA has laid off 350 of its employees across several different departments including marketing, publishing and other areas.
Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, detailed the layoffs in an official statement made on the company’s website. According to Wilson, the layoffs are necessary for refining the organization and continuing to meet the needs of its players. He also says EA will be diminishing its presence in Japan and Russia as it seeks new ways to engage with players in those markets. In an email obtained by Kotaku, Wilson says that EA isn’t where it wants to be in terms of serving its player base as best it can and that it has work to do when it comes to games, player relationships, and business.
Wilson says the layoffs represent a “difficult day” for EA, and that the company has had to make “important but very hard decisions” that it doesn’t take lightly. In addition, Wilson says EA is doing everything it can to help those it’s laid off in finding new work, and that this is the company’s “top priority”. EA estimates that it has around 9,000 employees, so with 350 layoffs that’s roughly 4% of its workforce.
This news comes amid a string of layoffs and difficulties in the gaming industry. Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet suffered fairly heavy losses back in February, and Activision Blizzard laid off around 8% of its employees in the same month. It’s worth noting that EA’s decision comes after what has been a rough quarter for the company, while Activision Blizzard’s decision seemed to be rooted largely in cost-cutting despite a historically strong year for them. EA’s messaging on this has also been more sympathetic than Activision’s was; in the official statement, Wilson describes employees as “friends and colleagues” and says everyone’s contribution is both valued and appreciated.
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