Electronic Arts Plans Layoffs Of Five Percent Of Workforce, Cancels ‘Star Wars’ Game

Electronic Arts, which makes such games as Madden NFL and Apex Legends, said today that it plans to lay off five percent of its employees and will discontinue work on several games.

The announcement continues the ongoing downsizing in the gaming and tech space, a development that has seen thousands of jobs lost.

EA said the layoffs are part of a broader restructuring aimed at supporting “strategic priorities and growth initiatives,” according to a Tuesday securities filing. EA said in that document that it also plans to reduce its office space footprint.

Last year, EA sliced 800 employees, while Epic Games cut 830 jobs in September. In January, Tencent’s Riot Games said it would lay off 11% of its workforce and Microsoft said it would cull 1,900 jobs from its Activision Blizzard and Xbox gaming divisions.

On Tuesday, Sony said on Tuesday it would cut 8% of its global workforce, amounting to around 900 jobs.

Based on EA’s annual report, issued in May of last year, the company had 13,400 employees. That means the current cuts could amount to some 600 jobs lost.

Along with the job cuts, CEO Andrew Wilson issued a company-wide letter informing staff of the publisher’s restructuring. That means the sunsetting of some live service titles and ceasing the development of certain projects.

In his letter, Wilson stated that EA is restructuring to become more streamlined in order to deliver “deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom.” He said the company will be moving away from licensed IPs and shutting down certain titles to shift its development resources.

“We are also sunsetting games and moving away from the development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry,” Wilson said in the letter. “This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities — including our owned IP, sports, and massive online communities — to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow.”

Wilson then speaks to the extent of the layoffs and how it will work with affected employees:

“While not every team will be impacted, this is the hardest part of these changes, and we have deeply considered every option to try and limit impacts to our teams. Our primary goal is to provide team members with opportunities to find new roles and paths to transition onto other projects. Where that’s not possible, we will support and work with each colleague with the utmost attention, care, and respect.”

The restructuring is expected to be completed by early next quarter.

Video Games Chronicle reported Respawn’s upcoming Stars Wars first-person shooter is one title not moving forward.

In a statement to VGC, EA Entertainment president Laura Miele said in part, “It’s always hard to walk away from a project, and this decision is not a reflection of the team’s talent, tenacity, or passion they have for the game. Giving fans the next installments of the iconic franchises they want is the definition of blockbuster storytelling and the right place to focus.”

EA’s other upcoming licensed projects include Motive’s Iron Man and Cliffhanger’s Black Panther. An EA representative confirmed to GameIndustry.biz that both projects are still in development.

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