EA planning 'small' staff cuts

Megapublisher confirms "routine" companywide cutbacks following completion of holiday lineup.


Late Wednesday, word began to circulate through back channels that staff cuts were in the offing at EA Mythic, the developer of the forthcoming massively multiplayer online game Warhammer Online. According to an internal e-mail leaked to game enthusiast site Destructoid, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello has notified the heads of all the megapublisher's internal studios to tell them to cut costs--and, by implication, staff.

"Our CEO has tasked the company to get its costs in line with revenues," read the e-mail, which reportedly was sent to all of EA Mythic by studio vice president Rob Denton. "Every studio, group and division of the company has been tasked to review its overall headcount and adjust its organization to meet the needs of the business moving forward."

Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications at EA, confirmed to GameSpot that some staff cuts were in the offing companywide, but downplayed their significance. "This was a small and somewhat routine event for this time of year when many of our titles are finished and being shipped," he said. "The action included small numbers of people across studio, publishing and corporate divisions."

Speaking on condition of anonymity, sources inside the EA studio structure also confirmed there were cuts being discussed. However, they also echoed Brown's comments that the changes were not major. "It doesn't seem to be that bad...yet," said one, indicating the cuts had come in mainly administrative and publicity positions.

EA's move comes in the wake of its $860 million purchase of superstudio BioWare/Pandemic, where Riccitiello was briefly CEO. Prior to the purchase, the company had nearly 8,000 employees in more than a half-dozen countries.

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Avatar image for uberjannie

Devs need less people to develop games, replace them with better tools.

Avatar image for R3DN1N3

MrJaster......yeah I'm sure the developers get angry and I do agree with u that there are a bunch of smart mouths here but lets face it: Madden sucks

Avatar image for mrjasler

I get sick of know it alls on this site.. Since you have never worked on a game and just play games.. does that make you very knowledgeable about how EA makes their games? do you work at EA? do you know what they do in the production process? You ASSUME yes.. you guess.. that is all you can do because you really don`t know anything do you? People who work at EA are normal people, they read these forums and probably get upset when they see that you just said that all those late nights they spent on the latest iteration of madden was a waste of time.. EA is a large company just like microsoft.. if you want to point fingers at EA then start looking at the other companies.. Sony want to monopolize the market, Microsoft want to.. heck all big companies are the same...

Avatar image for upstartrex

This decision proves again, for men like Greg Zeschuk, Ray Muzyka, Andrew Goldman, Josh Resnick, and Greg Borrud that love of Mammon is ruin. EA is not an entity which makes games because it thinks well of videogames, wanting to increase its' skill at making them; EA is a con-man, he has suceeded most in dealing with videogame-makers, convincing whoever does good work to be a servant in his house. MasterChief725, EA isn't hurting. John just retook control of the company after convincing Bioware and Pandemic to become part of it. He left EA and persuaded B&P by steps, their merger being one, to come under his control as part of EA. With the new developers he has John considers EA fat and so is trimming some of its' members to make a more limber conman.

Avatar image for MasterChief725

Yes!! EA is hurting!

Avatar image for deactivated-57fce817a4cf5

"It was that bloody Steve. He kept nicking the tea money!"

Avatar image for MrSickVisionz

It sucks when companies use layoffs as a way to help the bottom line. You save money but you decimate the moral of the employees which leads to all sorts of negative things. Maybe slow down the expansion and stop paying close to a billion dollars to buy indie developers.

Avatar image for CrushedGroove

I wonder how many of those laid off will be from BioWare.

Avatar image for GrimBee

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

Avatar image for GrimBee

A small staff cut to EA is like an entire team of developers for some regular studios ;) lol The trouble with a big corporation like EA is that they can invest in technology which will lay-off people who would usually do that task. When its worked in a system like that - EA know exactly who does what, and who needs to go. In a development team, usually, there is always need for someone to do something. EA, basically, will make a mcdonalds workforce out of developers. Mark my words. The creativity will be out of the window, and developers will just sit there and code what the suited-types tell them to code. Then, they stick some sport persons face on the front to make the game appeal to humans.. Ah.... er... anyways! Thats probably the EA of the future.. Lets just say that if Miyamoto worked for EA - his work would not of come out in the ways that it did before. Mario would be hopping around to my chemical romance, he would be using "boost" instead of just running and princess toadstool wouldn't even be wearing a dress! Zelda would have an emo fringe of hair down on one side of his face, eye shadow and a rock guitar instead of a sword and shield. Metroid would simply force Samus into a permanent morph-ball whilst a virtual wayne rooney and david beckham kick her around on a field ;)

Avatar image for teirdome

I hate to see job cuts, but before blanket statements like "fewer people means more bugs", the article should be read. The article clearly states that it is looking like the cuts are going to be in admin and marketing, which should have little-to-no impact on game development. Still, layoffs are never good for company morale, and hopefully the development teams aren't going to be trimmed as well.

Avatar image for byrnzi

If people are disgusted by their lackluster titles, just stop buying their games... like I do. It won't solve the problem, but at least you can say (in regards to their monopolizing of the market) "I'm not part of it. I'm not responsible." Every time a new game comes out, before I buy it, I make sure the publisher/developer is not EA. If it is, I immediately disregard the title, no mater how high a review gets. The last title I played of theirs was Command & Conquer. It was a good game, but I had to get rid of it for principles sake.

Avatar image for AndyRaeside

To the people complaining that EA make way to much money... which I agree with as they are like the Starbucks of gaming to me... this is how EA makes it money. It puts out lackluster titles, blanket bombs the market with the same title on every console/handheld and then when it comes to staff... anyone they think they don't need gets cut. This way they bring in the biggest profit and have the lowest overheads. I mean fair enough you can't fault there business sense... but i do get the feeling that in about 5 to 10 years time EA will have a console made in collaboration with Sony and Microsoft with a unified gaming format and EA will publish every game for the system. They will rule the gaming world eventually as anyone who comes close to them or makes anything half decent will just be bought by EA or crushed like a bug.

Avatar image for dorohala

They just want more money for them self!

Avatar image for the_real_VIP

This is just not right. They make the most money, yet they cut jobs. Damn those executives... cutting jobs before the holidays to get salary raise without affecting the profit margin/forecast. I spit on them. BioWare, you can definitely say good-bye to that "Top Employer" forever.

Avatar image for km1498

I was trying to think of some witty bad comment to say about EA but I will be nice today and just say good luck to the people who lost there jobs.

Avatar image for L_i_o_n

this basicly means more bugs in games, bc then even less employers will be working to fix bugs.

Avatar image for Merl57

this is what happen with EA consumes companies, less people working.

Avatar image for Partisan357

You guys don't understand. they need to fire those people so that Riccitello can get a bigger xmas bonus. And what about Probst's going away present. Poor CEO's, have it so hard. Yes it is business, but some of us choose to be ethical and fair in our business dealings, ea has no soul, no loyalty.

Avatar image for Kai_88

God, only EA can call christmas time staff cuts "routine". All game developers should pray their company never gets swallowed by the dark side anytime soon.

Avatar image for Blackstaff

Doesn't make sense to cut the staff of a group that's currently making a game

Avatar image for Zerosumgame

"Bunch of uneducated fools on here complaining about things they know nothing about." ROFL, I heard a lot of undereducated ppl make that remark.

Avatar image for Devvy01

this wouldn't have anything to do with the recent Bioware buyout?

Avatar image for NandoSupes

well I guess EA don't need these people anymore,they probably have families ,kids and bills to pay.but is ok EA doesn't care right? ,as long as they make crappy games and rake billions while doing it everything is good.

Avatar image for ToxicMold

Bunch of uneducated fools on here complaining about things they know nothing about.

Avatar image for Agreb91

I would hate to lose my job because the holiday line ups are finished.

Avatar image for Sheiko

Sprint = EA? Hmm...

Avatar image for MACMALLEON

Yea my brother department suffered already. People I use to work with when I was at EA are now gone. When I think about it... The company would do fine without them. The real reason they were let go, was because new CEO John Riccatello noticed that way too many people were hired on during the last 5 years. Thats what I heard. The Bioware/Pandemic theory is false.... FYI.

Avatar image for korpdawg

misterjz I wish it was that way. It'd be nice if games (and most things really) were done because people wanted to make something great. but.....REAL WORLD. They are all in it to make money. If they make a good game or great game its only because they believe there is a good chance they can make money. Money rules everything. Not going to change in our lifetime.

Avatar image for Sam_Lowery

So EA isn't making enough extra money from all the product placement and in game advertising they shove in our faces?

Avatar image for Lumenadducere

Y'know, with all the money they're making, I'd really think that they'd be able to keep this sort of stuff from happening.

Avatar image for Ghaz013

EA's image has gone down the toilet and they dont even seem to care as long as they are making money. even if they do care about their image, i never see any reports where they defend themselves.

Avatar image for gameryatta

Merry Christmas, EA employees!

Avatar image for misterjz

Business as usual? I guess that's one way of looking at it, but to whomever posted the comment about "video games are just another business"...to one degree,and a very shallow one, you are correct. In the end, the most important thing for a company is making enough money to not go under, and hopefully enough to profit. But, I must disagree that video games (or perhaps any other artistic offering) is just business and nothing more. I'm sure any artist will agree.

Avatar image for ibanezdropd

grrrrr... me no like EA cutting costs... i realize its business, but i hate when companies take over others only to fire half the company tht they bought

Avatar image for Quezakolt

I hope EA goes to hell. Like they need to make thoses cuts, they dont make enough money yet?

Avatar image for ManiacalCarrot

Not surprising, EA has done this to every single company they took over, which is why it's extremely doubtful that they would leave BioWare and Pandemic as an independent subdivision. EA will start to cut out employees from those two eventually, regardless of what they claim, and highly likely some BioWare and Pandemic employees will leave the company as soon as they can.

Avatar image for lamprey263

it sucks to hear cuts being made when a company is already doing well enough

Avatar image for Giratina667

Wow EA bringing MORE people down.:evil:

Avatar image for mtron32

welcomme to the game industry. When you make a decision to work in the frield of CG, you better know your job isn't secure, and they owe you nothing. You have to be prepared to live life as a mercenary, offering up your services to the highest bidder. Games usually take about 2-4 years to complete and over the coarse of developement, bodies are hired to get the work done. After it's finished, you trim fat. This is why its a good idea to always have your eyes peeled for new companies and/projects that you'd like a piece of in the future.

Avatar image for Donkeljohn

EA staff cuts are a seasonal occurence, but I hadn't linked Riccitiello to the Bioware/Pandemic acquisition. While I don't think anything sinister is going on, I'm sure he was instrumental in closing that deal.

Avatar image for ToxicMold

Love how everybody jumps all over EA for doing something every company in the U.S. does. I challenge someone to name ONE multi-billion dollar company that hasn't done this. People shouldn't make comments on subjects that they are ignorant about.

Avatar image for monco59

That's right, after the games are finished just fire their asses. All hail EA!

Avatar image for IKKF

This is what happens when you're one of the largest companies in the videogame industry. You're constantly moving on to a new project and finishing them quickly, so EA doesn't need to keep paying employees that they don't need. So anyone planning to work for EA, think of it as a summer job.

Avatar image for finalsquall76

master_blue UO got pretty badly hit apprently too which sucks. Ea is screwing UO big time. I think UO will get the biggest blow as KR is not doing as well as expected. It's a shame though :( I now understand why people get so hostile towards EA.

Avatar image for need_id07

I'm not defending really just pointing out a simple fact, the purpose of EA and every other company out there is not primarily to make video games, or w/e product, it is to make profit for the shareholders (I.E. execs and in the case of publicly traded companies the people hold the stocks. Of course it would make perfect sense to us for them to not pay the CEO much and focus on making cool games, lowering game prices ect. but lets be honest EA make a ton of money and by business sense it is quite successful. Every major company has to make layoffs after busy periods or they are simply paying people for pity, or cutting hours of hourly people so they barley work. Having said that, it doesn't make being laid off much fun but hey, if everyone stayed at the company they started at then we wouldn't get cool new studios with talented staff.

Avatar image for ashuncc2

Boo EA! And to the previous post saying business is business, I assume you do not support anyone. Jobs are important, and they are the life horse of the economy. To cut jobs is to affect livelihoods.

Avatar image for dwmorrow

And by "small", we mean "massive".

Avatar image for DonutTrooper

Must suck to be fired from them, knowing that you suck so much, not even EA wants you...

Avatar image for mauro311

I hope this doesn't detract from there efforts elsewhere....

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