Following initial reports in several game forums, game publisher Electronic Arts confirmed that it has laid off a sizeable number of its employees. An EA rep confirmed to GameSpot that the company is reducing its total workforce by 5 percent. Because the massive third-party publisher employs 6,500 to 7,000 people worldwide, that means between 325 and 350 people received their notice of termination today.
The spokesperson said that the reductions were made "due to the fact that we are in a transition [period]," adding that "every division is going through this resource evaluation." The rep said some employees affected by the layoff had been offered the option to relocate, though the rep was not sure of an exact number.
The EA spokesperson added that "during transition we always look to realign our resources, whether that's people, technology, or our investments. It's a time of focusing on our key priorities."
The rep added that the layoffs were done "so we have the most efficient alignment for all of our strategic priorities...it doesn't have to do with any one [game]." The rep added that the painful step was but "one piece of what the whole industry is going through."
Officially, the company started the process at its Redwood Shores headquarters. An employee at the facility who wished to remain anonymous told GameSpot that "a lot of people aren't here anymore." Additionally, informed sources said both Florida-based EA Tiburon and Vancouver-based EA Canada were also affected by the cuts today.
The layoffs come just one day before EA is scheduled to release earning figures for the third quarter of its 2006 fiscal year. The move also coincides with the completion or near-completion of one of its biggest calendar-year 2006 titles: The Godfather.