Update: EA employees PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime Studio have confirmed of Twitter the two studios have been closed as result of the restructuring. Additionally, Polygon claims to have sources that confirm the closure of the EA Partners Label. The same source also warns that the worst has yet to pass an more layoffs are likely over the horizon.
Electronic Arts is now reporting, via their news blog, layoffs have occurred. There is no official word on the extent of the layoffs, but sources have told Kotaku they could represent up to ten percent of the company. EA has yet to release information on a specific number of people or teams affected.
As of the end of the last fiscal year (FY2012) Electronic Arts employed roughly 9000 people. If it is indeed true that 10% have been laid off, it is hard to imagine any team will be left unscathed. While this may be the largest mass layoff we’ve seen from the AAA publisher it isn’t the only one in recent memory. EA Montreal, the team behind Army of Two: Devil’s Cartel, was recently gutted beyond repair and survives in name only. On top of that, there isn’t a month that goes by where we haven’t seen their mobile division trimmed down.
Additionally, rumors emerged last night of a potential shut down of the EA Partners Label. The publishing arm responsible for signing major studios like Epic, Insomniac and Respawn to make games like Bulletstorm, Fuse, and the yet unannounced military shooter from Respawn. The two main projects the publisher has lined up for this year, Battlefield 4 from DICE and Dragon’s Age III from Bioware appear, at least at the moment, to be unaffected.
If the downward spiral couldn’t be any more apparent. Last month, CEO John Riccitiello stepped down amid speculation EA’s Q4 earnings would be less than desirable. See the official statement below.
In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees – those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends.
These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.