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EA Lays Off 670 Employees While Moving Away From Licensed IPs; Multiple Games Cancelled As A Result

Best put more resources into your egregious soccer microtransactions

EA has announced that it will be reducing its overall workforce by 5%, resulting in roughly 670 employees being laid off.

In a press release from CEO Andrew Wilson, he states “Given how and where we are working, we are continuing to optimize our global real estate footprint to best support our business. We are also sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry.” The press release, with the wonderfully corporate title of “Continuing to evolve our business and teams”, expands on the reasoning behind this decision, going on to say “…we are streamlining our company operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for fans 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.”

This shift in strategy will see EA “double down” on its core money-making ventures, including sports titles, internally-owned IPs and currently successful online communities. While this statement doesn’t delve into specifics, another press release penned by President of EA Entertainment and Technology Laura Miele sheds more light on what projects have faced the chopping block. Beginning with Respawn, Miele confirms that the studio will “pivot away” from a Star Wars FPS that was in early development, to instead “focus our efforts on new projects based on our owned brands while providing support for existing games.”

Teams working on the Battlefield franchise, an IP that’s owned by EA, are also being affected, with the recent departure of Game Director Marcus Lehto leading to significant structural changes. Leadership from Criterion has been brought across to fill the void, leading to Ridgeline, the studio created to work on Battlefield’s single-player content, closing entirely. While not all staff will be relocated, some will be redistributed to Ripple Effect, yet another studio working on the first-person shooter franchise.

Rounding off the death note, Miele mentions that various mobile games are being shuffled off their mortal coils, including Kim Kardashian Hollywood, Lord of the Rings, Tap Sports Baseball, and F1 Mobile. While I can’t say I have any history with these titles, it’s clear that the mobile sector is important to EA, with the company “optimistic about where we can take our significant library of owned IP.”

These news pieces are getting harder and harder to write, and I’m quickly running out of ways to express our collective disappointment in these closures and layoffs.

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Everyone here at WellPlayed sends our best wishes to all of the talented creatives who have been affected by this, or any of the recent layoffs.

Written By Adam Ryan

Adam's undying love for all things PlayStation can only be rivalled by his obsession with vacuuming. Whether it's a Dyson or a DualShock in hand you can guarantee he has a passion for it. PSN: TheVacuumVandal XBL: VacuumVandal Steam: TheVacuumVandal

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