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Electronic Arts layoffs 2024

EA Lays Off 670 Employees, Cancels Respawn's Star Wars FPS

by Marcus Stewart on Feb 28, 2024 at 05:02 PM

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Electronic Arts is laying off 5 percent of its workforce, which accounts for roughly 670 employees. CEO Andrew Wilson issued a company-wide letter informing staff of the publisher's restructuring, which will mean sunsetting some live service titles and ceasing the development of certain projects.

In his letter, Wilson states that EA is restructuring to become more streamlined in order to deliver "deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom." To that end, the company will be moving away from licensed IPs and shutting down certain titles to shift its development resources. 

"We are also sunsetting games and moving away from the development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry," says Wilson in the letter. "This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities — including our owned IP, sports, and massive online communities — to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow." 

Wilson then speaks to the extent of the layoffs and how it will work with affected employees: 

"While not every team will be impacted, this is the hardest part of these changes, and we have deeply considered every option to try and limit impacts to our teams. Our primary goal is to provide team members with opportunities to find new roles and paths to transition onto other projects. Where that's not possible, we will support and work with each colleague with the utmost attention, care, and respect."

He states that this restructuring is expected to be completed by early next quarter. Last March, EA cut 6 percent of its global workforce. 

As reported by Video Games Chronicle, one confirmed casualty of this change is Respawn's upcoming Stars Wars first-person shooter. First announced to be in development in January 2022, the unnamed game was led by Medal of Honor co-creator and Star Wars Battlefront veteran Peter Hirschmann. Recent rumors suggested that it may have starred a Mandalorian bounty hunter

In a statement to VGC, EA Entertainment president Laura Miele said in part, "It's always hard to walk away from a project, and this decision is not a reflection of the team's talent, tenacity, or passion they have for the game. Giving fans the next installments of the iconic franchises they want is the definition of blockbuster storytelling and the right place to focus."

EA's other upcoming licensed projects include Motive's Iron Man and Cliffhanger's Black Panther. An EA representative confirmed to that both projects are still in development.

These job cuts join a string of other disheartening 2024 layoffs, which now total more than 8,000 in just the first two months of the year. PlayStation is laying off 900 employees across Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, and more, closing down London Studio in the process, too. The day before, Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games announced it is laying off 90 employees

At the end of January, we learned Embracer Group had canceled a new Deus Ex game in development at Eidos-Montréal and laid off 97 employees in the process. Also in January, Destroy All Humans remake developer Black Forest Games reportedly laid off 50 employees and Microsoft announced it was laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams as well. Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees in January, and League of Legends company Riot Games laid off 530 employees

We recently learned Lords of the Fallen Publisher CI Games was laying off 10 percent of its staff, that Unity would be laying off 1,800 people by the end of March, and that Twitch had laid off 500 employees

We also learned that Discord had laid off 170 employees, that layoffs happened at PTW, a support studio that's worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld Build company, Thunderful Group, let go of roughly 100 people. Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people, too

Last year, more than 10,000 people in the games industry or game-adjacent industries were laid off.