EA Lays Off 350 People In Marketing, Publishing, And More

Photo: Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

The video game publisher Electronic Arts is laying off 350 people in marketing, publishing, and other areas, the latest move in what’s been a brutal year for the gaming industry.

In an email to employees obtained by Kotaku, EA boss Andrew Wilson said 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,” he wrote. “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,” he added.

When reached by Kotaku this morning, EA sent over the following statement:

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 organisation and meet the needs of our players. As part of this, we have made changes to our marketing and publishing organisation, 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 organisational 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.”

Later, an EA representative added that the company would be providing severance to laid-off employees. “Yes, we are working with employees to try and find other roles inside the company,” the spokesperson said.

“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.”

One person who works in one of the affected departments told Kotaku this morning that these layoffs had been expected for a while now, and that EA had put hiring and travel freezes on marketing for several months. People within marketing and publishing had been expecting a reorganisation since at least October, the person said. “I think some people will be relieved to not be in limbo anymore,” they said.

This news comes amidst a year full of massive layoffs at game companies, including Activision Blizzard and ArenaNet.

Although the video game industry continues to grow, with the Entertainment Software Association touting ever-increasing revenue, it’s been a challenging 2019 for game developers and publishers.

Additional reporting by Gita Jackson.


Comments

    “We have a vision to be the World’s Greatest Games Company,”

    Oh boy do you have a ways to go.

    Anyway, it does sound like the employees were treated respectfully. Unlike a particular Telltale Games...

    Funny how customer relationships and happiness are always your goal verbally and never the goal in practice.

      Great games isnt their problem, its been marketing, sales and publishing that have been jeopardising their line up... but getting rid of peopke doesnt solve issues like teired over hyped and under delivered access programs or the choices to release games as a service titles a year too early before content is finalised. "Dont plan to release a season of content before you actually made it"... invest time into content, dont rush to sale... I dont understand why billion dolkar gane companies jeopardise 100 million in sales by bringing release dates forward.

        Probably because the only thing that matters and the true customers of a large AAA publisher are the investors who only care about exponential growth next quarter

    I wonder if this has something to do with how much marketing Anthem got vs Apex Legends. Anthem being massively advertised and released a dud and Apex getting none and being a hit. Did someone higher up decide to jettison a bunch of marketers as they obviously weren't doing what they were supposed to do. Promote the hits.

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