The lights are on
The past seven days have already seen a major shakeup in EA's mobile and social operations. Now, news of more layoffs has surfaced.
According to reports posted by Develop, EA has laid off a significant number of staff at Playfish. Just yesterday, the publisher announced the imminent closure of three titles operated by that studio, including the relatively new SimCity Social. While it doesn't come as a surprise that job loss has followed, it does paint EA's $300 million acquisition of Playfish as a significant blunder.
MCV India is also reporting that EA has laid off 50 employees at it's Hyderabad, India mobile studio. This brings the total job loss to more than an estimated 200 in just one week's time, including the unconfirmed approximately 160 employees let go in Montreal and other locations. The specificity of the number comes from a member of the Nasscom Gaming Forum on Facebook, Udaya Bhaskar.
Bhaskar's LinkedIn profile indicates his employment with EA in Hyderabad.
When approached for comment today, EA reiterated the statement provided last week when layoffs occurred in Montreal.
"These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles. Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world."
Additionally, EA told Joystiq that there would be no comment on the status of Playfish.
This move is significant evidence that EA is severely redirecting its focus. The publisher went all-in on mobile and social games with the acquisitions of Popcap (which suffered its own layoffs last year) and Playfish. EA is currently in the midst of a significant leadership transition following the resignation of John Riccitiello last month due to poor financial performance.
Until new, permanent leadership is installed though, it's hard to look at any of these measures as more than bandaids. And given the size of the dressing, the wound underneath is likely worse than anyone yet fully understands.
[Source: Develop, MCV India]
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Ea has done nothing but infuriate gamers with their "Mobile" games. Those "Games" were some of the worst "Free" to play had to offer, with absurd micro transactions that insulted good, honest people and robbed everyone. Just look at the new Real Racing for proof. They took a game that once used to cost a reasonable $10 or so, and turned it into a $400 "Free" game that gates important content, uses the often reviled "Energy" mechanic, and nickel and dimes you at every opportunity.
If they are getting out of the mobile business, which these layoffs don't really say one way or another, but if they WERE, it would be a great thing for mobile games.
EA failed hard with their approach to the casual market. Not a surprise that it has proven so fickle.
just keep drinking your own kool-aid that you are a good company, drink till you drown...
Damn this is a shame, was hoping EA would stick with the mobile stuff & leave the real game making to people who actually care about their customers.
Thus continues the eternal cycle of EA buying companies, mismanaging them, then destroying them.
Though people losing jobs is never a good thing, in the long run... This is a good for the industry. EA sucks.
Wow! EA has been going downhill a lot recently... relative to how they were functioning not too long ago which was not to brag about. Cannot say I am too upset about current events but I hope those who lost their jobs can find their way back into the market and into better hands.
A true shame indeed. Sigh...EA just continues to run companies that it purchases into the ground.
Maybe Jon Madden can hit them up with some tough actin' tinactin and save the flaming golden*2 turd.
i hate it when anyone loses their job, let alone people who were doing the best they could and got let go anyway.