Today, it was reported that “Electronic Arts is laying off 350 people in marketing, publishing, and other areas,” according to kotaku.com. Kotaku.com also reports that they received an email from “EA boss Andrew Wilson” who wrote the following:
“the goal would be to streamline decision-making in the marketing and publishing departments following a consolidation that began last year, improve customer support, and change some of its international strategies, a move that includes closing offices in Russia and Japan.”
“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.“
“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.”
Apparently, that email was sent days before kotaku.com would receive more communication from EA about this situation. This morning, the media website received another message from EA. Here’s EA’s latest statement about the matter–courtesy of kotaku.com.
“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.”
If you thought that was the only information kotaku.com would receive from the company, than you’d be sadly mistaken. An EA representative had more to say on the topic with respect to “providing severance to laid-off employees.” Here’s what that EA representative shared with kotaku.com.
“Yes, we are working with employees to try and find other roles inside the company (…). For those that are leaving the company, we will also be providing severance and other resources. I’m not able to provide the details on the severance, but we work hard to be as helpful as we possibly can.”
Also, an employee who worked in the one of the affected areas spoke with kotaku.com and revealed that he knew EA was planning to lay-off employees for awhile now since “EA had put hiring and travel freezes on marketing for several months.” The employee also claimed that several of the marketing and publishing workers knew about this “reorganization [tactic] since (…) October.”
This news, along with reports about other ‘companies laying off employees,’ is truly heartbreaking. Though gaming hardware and software has been on the climb for the last few years, it’s disappointing to see that video game employees aren’t receiving a similar success rate. Personally, I’m wishing all the laid-off employees the best. I hope they’ll be able to find another unique opportunity out in this vast world of ours.
We’ll be sure to update you all when or if more video game industry news is publicly shared.
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