EA to lay off hundreds of staff, despite $5 billion in profits

The games publisher behemoth has announced that it is laying off 6% of its workforce, despite recording increased profit last year.
EA Apex Legends

Electronic Arts (EA), the publishers of games like FIFA, The Sims, Apex Legends, and several others, has announced that it will be undergoing a restructuring plan that will see 6% of its workforce laid off.

Estimates place the number of affected individuals at over 700 people – GamesIndustry.biz reports that the company employed 12,900 people globally in a report released in March 2022.

The move is just the latest in several mass layoffs that have been occurring in the tech and games industries in 2023. EA had already fired over 200 QA testers from its office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the beginning of March 2023, which followed a shutdown of Apex Legends Mobile in February 2023, despite the title taking away ‘Game of the Year’ awards from the Apple and Google app stores.

It’s unclear whether these QA layoffs make up the 6%, but it’s likely, given that Kotaku notes that Wilson commented that ‘these decisions began earlier this quarter.’

An internal memo gleaned by GamesIndustry.biz about the decision quotes EA CEO Andrew Wilson as saying that the company is currently ‘operating from a position of strength.’ Despite that, it will look to hone its efforts on ‘creating blockbuster interactive storytelling’, ‘building games with large communities,’ and ‘making the most of those communities with social and creator tools.’

‘We are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams’

In terms of supporting affected employees, Wilson added: ‘Where we can, we are providing opportunities for our colleagues to transition onto other projects. Where that’s not possible, we are providing severance pay and additional benefits such as health care and career transition services.’ The company expects to take on at least US $200 million in charges as a result of the plan, which should be finalised by September 2023.

Read: New report claims 79% of games industry workers support unions

In EA’s financial report for 2022, the company reported over US $7 billion in revenue, an increase of 21% year-on-year. CEO Andrew Wilson received almost US $20 million in financial compensation that same year, according to Axios. He earned almost US $40 million the previous year.

Our thoughts go out to all those affected.

Edmond was the founding managing editor of GamesHub. He was also previously at GameSpot for 13 years, where he was the Australian Editor and an award-winning video producer. You can follow him @EdmondTran