[Updated] “Key Development Studio” EA Montreal's Mobile Division Hit With Layoffs
[Update #2] In response to our request for clarification on the status of the EA Montreal, an EA representative has told Game Informer definitively that the studio is not closing. It is still unknown how the cuts impacted different teams at EA Montreal and beyond, or if the focus of the layoffs was exclusively the publisher's mobile operations there.
[Update #1] EA has provided the following statement on the EA Montreal mobile layoffs to Game Informer,
"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."
Following the closure of EA’s Visceral Montreal studio in February, the publisher has dealt another blow to their Canadian operations. Today, a Game Informer source shared that EA Montreal, most recently responsible for co-development on Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, has been hit with layoffs in its mobile division. Furthermore, former lead game designer at EA Mobile, Marc-Andre Caron tweeted:
This is surprising because of recent statements made by the publisher. As reported in February, EA shared this about the Montreal team, "EA Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to sharpen our teams' focus on consoles and mobile games." While we are unaware of the deliberations that contributed to this decision, the tumult experienced by EA in the intervening period has been significant.
CEO John Riccitiello resigned in the wake of slumping financial performance, the frustration amongst consumers over the growing use of microtransactions is reaching fever pitch, and the publisher has “won” a second “Worst Company in America” award. It’s not unreasonable that EA has changed their mind, especially after a change in leadership.
We have reached out to EA for comment. Our thoughts are with the employees affected by the layoffs.