Over 200 quality assurance (QA) testers at EA Baton Rouge, which reportedly made up the entire QA team responsible for Apex Legends, were abruptly fired at the end of February 2023. A report from Kotaku, which cites multiple sources from within the studio itself, detailed the sudden and shocking dismissal.
Kotaku’s report details how the QA staff at EA Baton Rouge were invited to a mandatory Zoom meeting at 8:00am on the morning of 28 February 2023, where they were informed of the layoffs by their contract firm, Magnit Global.
GamesIndustry reports that full-time supervisors on the team would receive 60 days’ worth of severance pay, though the wording in the Kotaku report suggests this may apply to all contractors.
A statement from EA suggests that the QA work undertaken by Baton Rouge would now be distributed to other studios around the world – likely to take advantage of more favourable arrangements for the company in a time of increasing economic obstacles.
Per Kotaku: ‘As part of our ongoing global strategy, we are expanding the distribution of our Apex Legends testing team and ending testing execution that’s been concentrated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, impacting services provided by our third-party provider.’
‘Our global team, inclusive of remote playtesters across the U.S., enables us to increase the hours per week we’re able to test and optimize the game and reflects a commitment to understand and better serve our growing community around the world.’
On EA’s official website, the Baton Rouge studio is described as ‘the capital of one of EA’s largest developmental organizations: Quality Assurance’. The studio reportedly remains operational, even in the wake of these layoffs.
The news of Baton Rouge comes shortly after EA shuttered its award-winning Apex Legends Mobile game, while at the same time promoting major changes to the core Apex Legends game.
Our thoughts are with the team at EA Baton Rouge impacted by these sudden layoffs.