EA trims workforce, cuts hundreds of jobs

April 26, 2013 | 10:14

Tags: #digital-distribution #job-losses #layoffs #origin #pc-gaming #publisher #simcity

Companies: #ea #electronic-arts #games

Beleaguered games publishing giant Electronic Arts has laid off as much as 10 per cent of its staff - up to 900 individuals - in a round of swingeing cuts to improve its bottom line.

The company's job losses come as it attempts to reduce its overheads and better concentrate on mobile gaming and next-generation consoles - meaning it needs fewer staff in its current-generation and PC studios.

'In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organisational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations,' a company spokesperson claimed in an official statement on the cuts, which did not include formal figures as to the number of jobs lost. '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.

The job losses come a month after chief executive John Riccitiello resigned from the company, and are thought to include the closure of the EA Partners programme, which was responsible for hiring outside studios to produce EA-branded titles, and the closure of the company's Montreal studio.

Interim chief executive Larry Probst addressed the cuts in a memo to remaining staff, in which it is hinted that more cuts may be in the pipeline. 'The workforce reductions which we communicated in the last two weeks represent the majority of our planned personnel actions,' wrote Probst. 'We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of these individuals – they will be missed by their colleagues and friends at EA.'

The memo also details further 'streamlining' actions due to be taken by the company, including a reduction in marketing staff by merging its various departments into a single group under chief operating officer Peter Moore and Origin moving under Frank Gibeau's Labels division with Andrew Wilson taking over leadership of the digital distribution platform.

'Change is sometimes difficult, but essential. The adjustments we are making will put us in the best position to build great games and services, deliver them more efficiently to consumers, and demonstrate to players around the world why they should spend their time with us,' Probst claimed in conclusion. 'EA is a great company, with talented and hard-working teams, a strong portfolio of products and an extremely bright future. Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to our long term success!'

With EA still suffering backlash from its botched SimCity reboot, the 2.0 patch for which has brought its own raft of problems, and security problems with its Origin platform, the company's problems may not end with this belt-tightening exercise.
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