April 17, 2024

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EA intends to lay off about 670 workers and Sunsetting Games and “stay away from licensed intellectual property in the future.”

EA intends to lay off about 670 workers and Sunsetting Games and “stay away from licensed intellectual property in the future.”

Electronic Arts announced that it is also undergoing mass layoffs, with plans to lay off 5% of its total global employees, or approximately 670 individuals.

In a memo sent today to employees, CEO Andrew Wilson said EA is reacting to “accelerating transformation in the industry as player needs and motivations change dramatically.” Importantly, EA also said it is “moving away from developing licensed intellectual property in the future.” EA currently has several confirmed Star Wars and Marvel games in development, including a third Jedi game, Black Panther, and Iron Man.

EA plans to move away from “licensed intellectual property development” and will double down on its sports franchises and offerings.

According to Wilson, EA will double down on intellectual property, sports, and “huge online communities.” While Wilson did not provide details on which games would be shut down, EA has already announced that it will shut down two mobile games: F1 Mobile Racing and MLB Tap Sports.

“This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities — including our proprietary intellectual property, esports, and massive online communities — to deliver the entertainment that players want today and tomorrow. Finally, we are simplifying our company,” Wilson wrote. Operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences to audiences everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom.”

IGN understands that these layoffs will impact a number of teams across EA, which will greatly impact support teams. While some developers will also be affected, EA is largely hoping to move them from canceled projects to other teams. According to Wilson, these changes have already been announced and will be “largely” finalized by early next quarter.

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“I understand that this will create uncertainty and will challenge many who have worked with such dedication and passion and made important contributions to our company,” Wilson wrote. “While not every team will be affected, this is the hardest part of these changes, and we have deeply considered each option to try to limit the impacts on our teams. Our primary goal is to provide team members with opportunities to find new roles and paths” to move on to other projects. When this is not possible, we will support and work with each colleague with the utmost care, care and respect.”

EA will lay off nearly 5 percent of its workforce in another blow to the gaming industry.  Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
EA will lay off nearly 5 percent of its workforce in another blow to the gaming industry. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another blow to the gaming industry

This represents another major blow to the gaming industry after a year and a half of ongoing mass layoffs at studios of all sizes. The cuts affected Nearly 10,000 developers In 2023, and They are approaching 8,000 In just the first two months of 2024. Earlier this week, PlayStation laid off 900 employees and closed its studio in London, while Die Gut Fabrik closed and Supermassive laid off 90 employees.

While many have suggested that this wave of mass cutbacks is happening due to the company's overspending and overhiring during the COVID-19 pandemic, game developers have suggested a myriad of other reasons why it's still happening. These factors include poor investment decisions from company leaders, conflicts over the growing size, scope, and cost of the gaming industry, and a lack of long-term planning for the ebb and flow of the gaming business.

Wilson's full memo can be found below.

a team,

We're working to entertain, inspire and connect more people to greater content and deeper experiences than ever before. Over the past year, we have organized our company even further Empowering our creative leaders To deliver on our strategic priorities of entertaining massive online communities, telling compelling stories, and harnessing the power of community in and around our games. These actions have enabled us to build bigger, bolder experiences for hundreds of millions of players and fans around the world.

We are also leading an accelerating transformation in the industry as players' needs and motivations have changed dramatically. Fans are increasingly engaging with the biggest IP, and look to us for broader experiences where they can play, watch, create content, and make deeper connections. Our industry is at the forefront of entertainment, and in today's dynamic environment, we are evolving the way we work and continue to evolve our business.

As a company full of innovators and storytellers, we believe in the value of teams innovating together, and we continue to learn and adopt new ways to collaborate in order to grow and serve our global communities. Given how and where we operate, we continue to improve our global real estate footprint to better support our business. We are also working to retire games and move away from developing licensed intellectual property in the future that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry. This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and leverage our biggest opportunities – including our proprietary intellectual property, esports, and massive online communities – to deliver the entertainment that players want today and tomorrow. Finally, we're streamlining our company operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for audiences everywhere that build community, shape culture and grow fandom.

In this time of change, we expect these decisions to impact approximately 5 percent of our workforce. I realize this will create uncertainty and challenge many who have worked with such dedication and passion and made important contributions to our company. Although not every team will be affected, this is the hardest part of these changes, and we have deeply considered each option to try to limit the impacts on our teams. Our primary goal is to provide team members with opportunities to find new roles and paths to move on to other projects. When this is not possible, we will support each colleague and work with them with the utmost care, care and respect. Reporting on these impacts has already begun and will be largely completed by early next quarter.

I want to express my appreciation to everyone who helped contribute to EA's ongoing story. We are a team that relies on our values ​​to drive the future of entertainment, and I look forward to what we will create together. Thank you for everything you do.

Rebecca Valentine is a senior reporter at IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to [email protected].