Hopefully all affected can get back on their feet soon.
This has not been a good year in terms of job security in the AAA western gaming development industry. After the mass layoffs that saw over 800 people lose their jobs at Activision Blizzard, EA today announced that they will be laying off 350 employees of their own.
These employees will be in the marketing and publishing divisions, as well as EA’s operations in Russia and Japan. In a memo obtained by Kotaku, EA notes that the decision is “difficult”, and it will try to reassign as many of the people affected as possible to other positions internally; those that can’t be will get severance and assistance with seeking employment.
“We have a vision to be the World’s Greatest Games Company. 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,” the email, by EA CEO Andrew Wilson, reads.
On EA’s own website, EA says, “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.”
It’s absolutely terrible that 350 people have lost their jobs. I sincerely hope they will be able to land back on their feet as soon as possible; meanwhile, AAA game development is becoming unsustainable, as frequent layoffs are demonstrating. Something about it needs to be done, before the bottom drops out entirely.