Electronic Arts cuts staff by 5 percent

World's biggest publisher confirms major layoffs as more than 300 employees across three studios see pink.

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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.

Discussion

126 comments
gamespotr0cks
gamespotr0cks

If the laid-off employees were to come together and form their own company, then make an AWESOME game that made them millions...that would be sweet justice. It could happen, all it takes is drive and a lot of luck. btw, I bet the CEO will get a larger bonus now that he cuts out the extra fat.

Blazer88
Blazer88

Boo to EA. Instead of laying of the people who actually do the work.The overpaid Executives should be the ones to get the boot or at least very large pay cuts to them. Thats the way it should be.

Hu_Long
Hu_Long

Nice to know that while EAs buisness has spread worldwide they still have a loveable coporate face of "if it isen't making us money, fire it, kill it and leave it for the bin men"

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

Its because idian people cant make games yet.

luludooobee111
luludooobee111

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PerfectDark0Fan
PerfectDark0Fan

As much as I hate EA for using the name Goldeneye for money and the execlusive football licence; its sad to hear people lose their jobs. EA though would get more attention if they made better games. The only reason why though their in first place most years is because they publish and develope more games in a year then anyone else.

ForteX
ForteX

The rich getting richier, the employees getting screwed. Burn in hell EA CEOs

mps_
mps_

Funnily enough didn't EA go on a mad recruitment drive in September particularly at the SIGGRAPH event? Did they not foresee that their games were sub par and receiving poor reviews? Oh wait, I guess they did see that and they chose to hire staff regardless. All about replacing Vets with grads and noobs saving $10k per salary at the least. If they can get rid of a few 'complainers' whilst they're at it all the better. They make poor games and this will not improve until they learn to keep the vets happy and make them love their Job again. There's more to life than money, and most game vet's joined up because they love games, but that passion dies when your get burnt out from overwork, hence the poor games that EA release. For those that got let go, I lost my job last year with a

zymase
zymase

Layoffs suck, I hope the talented developers, etc. find work at a good studio.

Plays_4_Pants
Plays_4_Pants

Being in the business, i must say how happy i am that my company that i work for is not ea. They suck, they make bad games and they make me sick to my stomach. Haven't bought an ea game in 2 years and i haven't missed a thing. The video game industry has to grow up and treat their employers right...60-80 hours a week is cruel and stupid. I don't care how much we love our jobs...it's about the humanism and using "passion for games" as an excuse for mistreatment is wrong.

pengin21
pengin21

screw EA, this is what happens when your company doesn't pay you your overtime, you complain via class action lawsuit, they ask you to relocate and then they fire you. It was big news a few months back in GI.

MegaXtreme
MegaXtreme

With games like Marvel Nemesis being half-heartingly made, and Burnout, in my opinion, sucks, and a mediocre Madden game, it's no surprise EA is slipping. The only thing I think they have going for them is the TimeSplitters series, which is still golden.

gdiza
gdiza

All I'm going to say is that I hope all the staff who lost there jobs find new jobs and are happier! Losing ones job is never a good thing... ever.

ewjim
ewjim

I want NEW and ORIGINAL games!!!

Hellspite187
Hellspite187

Well I only one thing to say about it.....it's typical of EA to either screw up a game and or people!

DGFreak
DGFreak

I can't imagine that they would ever risk outsourcing their development positions. Anyone remember a little developer by the name of Stellar Stone? Best stick with local talent.

Gamewizard91
Gamewizard91

That really sucks for the people who got laid off, hope they can get another job.

masiisam
masiisam

Bahh..IMO EA is a bunch of hacks..NBA Live sucks and Madden is a pile... I have not been turned on by anything they have made lately. I feel bad for the workers..Sux to be out of a job.

McDove
McDove

I Guess now that those finacial figures are released, you can sorta see why the did it, I know that coming into the next-gen era means more resources are required but 350 odd people get the cut shows that they don't know how to proparly allocate resources. This has been going on for a while at EA I hope they get their act together, preferably this year!!

ll_jun10r_ll
ll_jun10r_ll

thats cheap man, they cut off a bunch of guys before they get there money and when The Godfather rolls even more moola into the bank, thats real cheap EA, its just dispicable how you guys are doing that

Snoop_trizzle
Snoop_trizzle

that sucks....wtf is EA thinking? whats the big idea...

MuchasGarcias
MuchasGarcias

At least there's no dirty labor union involved to point out the cost of the ESPN and NFL deals vs. the cost of 350 employees. I shiver to think of employees having some sort of safeguard against capricious wall-street pandering like this. Cold, dead hands and all that, you know?

AlexWills
AlexWills

yes, maybe EA will go out of business.

SnowFarmer
SnowFarmer

I think they got it backwards they should have laid off 95% and kept 5%. The day EA either dies or is forced to shrink enough to return to focusing on making great games can't come soon enough. They way they currently are is doing nothing but hurting the industry and the gamer.

Thanos_of_MW
Thanos_of_MW

It's natural for corporations to cut jobs when the yearly bonus to the CEO is threatened. Now, thanks to those poor unemployed people, the CEO can buy this year's new yacht (or add any other unnecessary luxury item here)

Lessence
Lessence

The Big guys make decisions, and the little guys LOOSE THIER JOBS. So the big guys can get that raise. Nice to see EA's keeping pace with big business.

Manny85
Manny85

That sucks, I was going to apply for a job with EA, but now I am not so sure. Maybe Capcom or Konami could use a fresh face.

Ohidjwae
Ohidjwae

Wow. . . I have two friends that work at EA. . . I guess I'd better find out if they're still employed! :-/

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

*crosses EA off from my list of possible employers...*

subject117
subject117

Poor people, they are going to lose their 6 figure income, and all they'll have to depend on is their hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank and in IRAS, stocks, and 401(k).

townsenda1
townsenda1

I feel bad that those people lost their jobs. Especially when Madden has been the best football game of all time and every year it gets better. But I'm sure that those that lost their jobs won't have a hard time finding new ones after working at EA. It's got to look good on a resume.

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

VolcanoMan001
VolcanoMan001

Well from what I am told, they are one of the worst companies to work for as far as overworking their employees and generally treating them like **** goes. Hmm... I have an interesting hypothesis! Perhaps EAs botch job they did on their first "HD-ERA" games shot themselves in the foot? They dont understand how much word of mouth travels. I mean you figure that a lot of people held out buying current gen games in order to get the next gen ones. Then they put out **** and the reviews and word of mouth convinces a lot of people to hold out buying the game altogether this year. Oh well... too bad so sad. Perhaps this will be a trend and they wont be able to throw their gigabazillions around on all the exclusive licenses next time. Death to EA!

pearcer
pearcer

EA will reap what they sow, mark my words. They will pay or not who can tell :P

killejo
killejo

That is sad. They should have kept these employees and focused on developing better games instead of wasting all that money locking up the NFL and keeping 2K sports out of the football video game segment. No reason to spend money on employees and innovation when you are a monopoly.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Ok, for the next 24 hours, let's give EA the benefit of the doubt. If this truly is "one piece of what the whole industry is going through." , we should hear about more companies laying off way more than a measly 5%. I say it that way because after acquiring X number of companies and securing 20X exclusive contracts for sports, their 5% should be some other company's 20%. Oh, and thier comment about it not having to do with any one game; let's see if any of the Madden team got let go....... (that'll happen next year when they still sell a few million units with no competition)

mafavreau
mafavreau

Around here we refer to EA as "The Empire"... i'm sure they got Darth Vader somewhere in a closet. But don't worry, companies with shareholders are all the same; They don't make games, they make money. Layoffs (in this industry) have the same effect that forest fires have on forest: Bring new life to stagnant lands... As for outsourcing work, its not so easy. Imagine the last summer blockbuster movie made in India instead of being made by the likes of Jackson and such... Ubisoft has studios in places like Morocco and China and believe me, they're not exactly pumping out AAA material ;)

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

the tower can only get so tall before it collapses!!!!!!

OPOLO
OPOLO

If you know & understand business - this shouldn't be a shock to anyone. Company goes on a take over rampage = Layoff's down the road. I'm betting another wave of layoffs by years end.

miiiguel
miiiguel

This is sad news, and of course no one thinks their job's for life, but if you're laid off based on "we are stinking rich, but we want to be stinking, frikin rich" kind of approach is real sad. But another thing made me happier: to know that a lot of you are sympathetic towards this guys and their families. Kudos! About EA games, c'mon maddog how can you say that someone who doesn't feel their games are the best are tasteless ? Their games are average, at most! Take the FIFA example: Pro Evolution (Winning Eleven @ US) is so, so, so superior, that I think they try to simulate a different game.