Third Time's a Charm: EA Announces More Studio Layoffs and Closures - The UpStream

Third Time's a Charm: EA Announces More Studio Layoffs and Closures

posted Saturday Apr 27, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

Third Time's a Charm: EA Announces More Studio Layoffs and Closures

More shutdowns and layoffs are hitting the Electronic Art studios after the former CEO, John Riccitiello, stepped down earlier in the month. This comes after last week, when we EA studio Playfish announced closure of the entire studio.

So what's the damage this go-around? EA has said that PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime, who's in charge of the Need for Speed: World series, are both shutting its down. This "reorganization" should bring the total amount of workforce reduction from these three rounds to 10 percent. Kotaku has reported that the headcount of employees who have been let go from EA due to the three rounds of layoffs are in the 900 range. Now, we know every time a CEO steps down and a new - or in this case, old - one enters, things will go away and employees will be terminated. However, EA has put the hammer down once before Riccitiello resigned and twice immediately after.

In the statement from EA,

In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees - those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends. These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.

Now, we've also discovered an internal notice sent from the new CEO, Larry Probst, which does not disclose the exact amount of people being fired, but goes into detail about EA's restructuring. Here it is, in full.

As we begin the new fiscal year, I want to provide you with a brief update on some important changes to our organization. As Executive Chairman, my focus is to ensure EA is delivering high quality games and services to our consumers, while helping the executive team develop a FY14 operating plan that drives growth, rationalizes headcount and controls costs.

In recent weeks, the executive team has been tasked with evaluating every area of our business to establish a clear set of priorities, and a more efficient organizational structure. This process has led to some difficult decisions about the number of people and locations needed to achieve our goals.

The workforce reductions which we communicated in the last two weeks represent the majority of our planned personnel actions. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of these individuals - they will be missed by their colleagues and friends at EA.

We are also taking action to streamline our organization, including changes in two key areas:

•Core marketing functions have been consolidated under our COO, Peter Moore. The combined group will bring together our Label marketing teams, Global Acquisition Marketing and Marketing Analytics into one multi-talented team under Todd Sitrin's leadership. The development and marketing teams will continue to work as cohesive units, driving clear and consistent messaging and consumer engagement for each of our franchises.

•Origin will move into Frank Gibeau's Labels organization. Andrew Wilson will take on the leadership of Origin, working with CJ Prober and the team to create more value and an enhanced entertainment experience for our consumers.

Change is sometimes difficult, but essential. The adjustments we are making will put us in the best position to build great games and services, deliver them more efficiently to consumers, and demonstrate to players around the world why they should spend their time with us.

EA is a great company, with talented and hard-working teams, a strong portfolio of products and an extremely bright future.

Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to our long term success!

So, now that Probst has hopefully eliminated all of the waste, can EA continue moving forward? Will this be a wake up call to all of the studios EA owns, causing them to wake up from producing horridly bad games, followed up with ridiculous customer service and all-around business policies? I'd love to hear the consumer's thoughts on all of this in the comments below.


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