Electronic Arts has laid off a substantial number of employees, reducing its total workforce by four percent. For the 9,000-employee publishing giant, this amounts to approximately 350 people who are left without jobs. This follows a particularly "difficult quarter" where EA says it "did not perform to [its] expectations."
According to Kotaku, it's mostly the marketing, publishing, operations, and analytics departments that are affected. People in marketing have reportedly expected something along these lines for a while now, as EA had placed a freeze on hiring and travel months ago. Additionally, EA has closed offices in Japan and Russia as it "focus[es] on different ways to serve players in those markets."
In an internal email addressing the decision, EA CEO Andrew Wilson wrote "We have a vision to be the World's Greatest Games Company. If we're honest with ourselves, we're not there right now. We have work to do with our games, our player relationships, and our business."
In a statement to Kotaku, EA said "Today we took some important steps as a company to address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead. As we look across a changing world around us, it's clear that we must change with it. We're making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs of our players."
This is just the latest in a recent trend of massive industry layoffs. Just a month ago, approximately 800 employees were let go across both Activision and Blizzard. Last fall, Telltale suddenly closed, only retaining a small skeleton crew to finish up contractual obligations. In the case of EA and Activision, investors seemingly expect stouter profit reports, and the easy and immediate corporate decision is to become a leaner company.
EA says that it's providing all laid-off employees with severance and other resources. As always, our best goes out to everyone who's affected by these layoffs at EA.