EA is sacking 350 staff, or around 4% of its “9,000-person company.” The layoffs will affect its marketing, publishing, and analytics departments, among others. The news follows even more severe layoffs at rival Activision-Blizzard, which sacked almost 800 employees – around 8% of its workforce – in February after a difficult financial quarter.
According to Kotaku, EA employees were told of the impending layoffs in emails from marketing director Chris Bruzzo and another from CEO Andrew Wilson. “We have a vision to be the world’s greatest games company,” Wilson’s email allegedly reads. “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.”
In a statement from Andrew Wilson, EA says it has “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.”
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier added to the story on Twitter, citing a source at EA who claims the marketing department had been expecting some bad news “for months now” after a freeze on hiring and travel, and had been in a state of “limbo”.
The layoffs bear a striking similarity to those at Activision-Blizzard, both in the departments they affected and in the uncertainty that preceded them. It can’t be pleasant to come to work under those conditions. At least these layoffs seem not to have been quite as sloppily handled as those at Telltale.
We asked EA for further clarity on the terms of the layoffs with respect to severance and ongoing support, but were directed to the statement above. Our very best wishes to all affected.