EA is laying off 350 people in its marketing, publishing, and operations teams in reorganization efforts that are meant to meet the challenges of "a changing world." It also plans to decrease its presence in Japan and Russia as it "focus[es] on different ways to serve our players in those markets."
EA CEO Andrew Wilson announced the layoffs earlier today via a message on EA's official site. "We’re making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs of our players," Wilson writes. "Great games will continue to be at the core of everything we do, and we are thinking differently about how to amaze and inspire our players."
Wilson says these "important but very hard decisions" will affect approximately 350 out of 9000 employees. "We are friends and colleagues at EA, we appreciate and value everyone’s contributions, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we are looking after our people to help them through this period to find their next opportunity."
EA found surprise success this year with Apex Legends, its own contribution to the competitive Battle Royale genre. The news about EA's layoffs isn't far behind Activision Blizzard's decision to lay off 800 of its own employees despite its record earnings in 2018. Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet likewise let numerous employees go last month, and the CD Projekt-owned game distribution platform GOG also suffered staff cuts in February. These are rough and demoralizing times for people who work in the games industry. We hope EA's laid off employees land on their feet, and we hope the ground remains stable for a long while yet.