EA is laying off 670 employees, around 5% of its global workforce

EA has also announced a move away from licensed IP projects, despite its long-running relationship with Disney.
ea layoffs licensed ip

EA has announced a sweeping round of layoffs impacting 670 employees worldwide, around 5% of the company’s total workforce. The news was broken by IGN, which shared a note sent to staff by EA CEO Andrew Wilson.

Within the note, Wilson revealed a new edict for EA to focus more on owned IP, sports, and “massive online communities” rather than licensed IP. Notably, EA currently has a number of licensed video games in the works with Disney, including a Star Wars Jedi sequel, a Black Panther adventure, and an Iron Man game.

According to Wilson, some games will be “sunsetted” as part of incoming company changes. As revealed by IGN, games heading for the sunset include F1 Mobile Racing, MLB Tap Sports, Kim Kardashian Hollywood and The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth.

A Star Wars first-person shooter in development at Respawn Entertainment has been cancelled as part of these moves. EA will also be “moving away” from other future licensed projects that the company does not believe will be successful in the “changing industry”.

Per IGN, games including Iron Man, Black Panther, and the upcoming Star Wars Jedi sequel will remain in development.

Read: Black Panther solo game in development at EA’s new studio

“This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities – including our owned IP, sports, and massive online communities – to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow,” Wilson said.

He believes the changes are necessary to react to “accelerating industry transformation where player needs and motivations are changed significantly.” Further, he acknowledged the uncertainty and challenge that layoffs will bring, and claimed leadership “deeply considered every option” to limit the impact on teams.

“Our primary goal is to provide team members with opportunities to find new roles and paths to transition onto other projects,” Wilson said. “Where that’s not possible, we will support and work with each colleague with the utmost attention, care, and respect.”

EA’s move comes at an incredibly difficult time for the games industry, and follows similar moves by Sony, Microsoft, Epic Games, and more. Those who are unable to transfer teams within EA will enter a tough jobs market that floods with new candidates on a now-weekly basis.

Staff will reportedly be informed of their job status in the coming weeks, with the impact of change set to conclude by “early next quarter.” Our thoughts are with those impacted by the announced layoffs at EA.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.