Publisher EA lays off 350 employees across multiple departments

Olivia R. March 27, 2019

The gaming industry is experiencing another mass layoff.

Video game publisher Electronic Arts is laying off 350 people in marketing and publishing in an attempt to make these departments more efficient.

This is a continuation of the consolidation that began last year, which included EA closing its offices in Russia and Japan. With hiring and travel freezes on hold in the marketing department since late last year, the departments were reportedly aware of a possible restructuring.

The large layoff is said to be part of the company’s plan to become the “World’s Greatest Games Company,” according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson.

“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,” Wilson said.

When Kotaku asked for a statement, EA told the online news publication that the layoffs were an important step towards addressing company challenges in preparation for future opportunities. Even though the company seems confident in its decision, it still expressed that it was a difficult decision to make.

“The change 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,” EA told Kotaku.

EA will be providing severance to laid off employees, something it claimed was its “top priority.”

Electronic Arts has recently been buoyed by the surprise runaway success of new battle royale title Apex Legends, which the company published by surprise after a secretive development process by Respawn Entertainment.

It hasn't all been good news, however. Loot-drive first-person shooter Anthem was released to a mixed critical reception around the same time and has struggled to satisfy its early player base.

Last month, Activision-Blizzard laid off 800 employees despite reporting record financial results in 2018. The company had to make drastic cuts after it failed to adapt to market conditions and consumer desires. Meanwhile, CFO Dennis Durkin was given a $3.75 million cash bonus.

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