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EA lays off workers across multiple studios

EA lays off workers across multiple studios

February 21, 2013 | By Kris Graft

As the game industry continues to rebirth itself amid various transitions in business, Electronic Arts has announced it has laid off a number of workers across various locations.

EA Labels president Frank Gibeau mentioned in a post titled "Transition is our Friend" that layoffs have occurred in multiple studios.

"This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations," he wrote in a post that was focused on the ongoing video game console transition.

Gibeau said EA will try to "soften the tough decisions" by offering severance packages and outplacement services to those who lost their jobs.

EA sent the official statement to Gamasutra: "Today EA internally announced some adjustments to select development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth areas, including new technologies and mobile.

"Many employees are being retrained for new positions; however a small number will be released. These are great, talented people and we wish them well. EA is growing globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year."

A rep for the company declined to disclose the headcount impact on specific teams and studios within EA. Asked about reports that the company is completely shutting down EA Montreal / Visceral Games, the rep said: "EA Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to sharpen our teams' focus on console and mobile games."

EA Montreal has developed games in the Army of Two action game series (the recent Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is pictured). Visceral Games' work includes the Dead Space series, whose development is led by Visceral's Redwood Shores studio, which is still in operation.

With new consoles from Sony and Microsoft on the horizon, EA and other major video game publishers are dealing with an industry that is seeing rising triple-A development costs, and new customers who are buying games in new ways, and on new digital platforms.

Gibeau pointed out that EA has seen success on iOS and Android mobile platforms, where the company leverages its popular video game properties.

With Sony just announcing the PlayStation 4 last night, and with a new Xbox on the horizon, more change is coming. The executive said the publisher will forge ahead. "Console transitions are a complex and challenging experience. I've helped navigate several and agree with an old saying we have at EA: Transition is our friend."

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