Some 800 jobs could be on the chopping block.
Video game hitmaker Electronic Arts is laying off 6% of its workforce.
“As we drive greater focus across our portfolio, we are moving away from projects that do not contribute to our strategy, reviewing our real estate footprint, and restructuring some of our teams,” CEO Andrew Wilson wrote in a memo to employees. “These decisions are expected to impact approximately 6% of our company’s workforce.”
Wilson didn’t specify how many employees will be let go, but it’s likely around 800, based on a mid-2022 estimate of nearly 13,000 employees, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Layoffs began earlier this quarter, and will continue through the early part of the next fiscal year, which begins in April, Wilson says.
“This is the most difficult part, and we are working through the process with the utmost care and respect,” according to Wilson. “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.”
It’s a tough time to work in tech: Major firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta have spent the last six months downsizing, blaming everything from slowdowns in demand and advertising to pandemic-era overhiring. But, as the Journal points out, video game companies have been largely shielded from staff reductions, until now.
EA is the first major game publisher to disclose significant layoffs, the WSJ says, noting that EA’s shares fell about 12% in February after announcing plans to cancel two mobile games.
“I want to extend my deep appreciation to all our employees who have contributed to our incredible story so far,” Wilson says. “It’s through your love of games that we continue to deliver on our mission of inspiring the world to play. Looking forward, we are focused on writing our next great chapter by bringing more amazing games to more people around the world—inspiring them to build community, participate in shared fandom, and have joyful experiences. The future of entertainment is interactive, and no team is better equipped to lead this transformation than us.”