Publishing giant Electronic Arts—the company behind everything from The Sims to Apex Legends to FIFA and Madden—announced today that approximately 6% of its global workforce, or between 700-800 people, will be laid off as the company drives “greater focus across our portfolio”.
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In a post on EA’s website, CEO Andrew Wilson writes that the publisher has taken a look at its upcoming projects, restructured some teams and even reviewed their “real estate footprint”. In the wake of that, the decision was made to lay off “approximately six percent of our company’s 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. These decisions are expected to impact approximately six percent of our company’s workforce. This is the most difficult part, and we are working through the process with the utmost care and respect. 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. Communicating these decisions began earlier this quarter and we expect them to continue through early next fiscal year.
Electronic Arts generated approximately $7 billion in net revenue last year, as reported on January 31, 2023, with gross profits of over $5 billion (an increase of 18% over the year before). In 2022 CEO Wilson, who described this move as “the most difficult part”, made approximately 172 times the median EA employee’s total compensation. Or 636 times what some customer service staff had been paid (before they were laid off, anyway).
This announcement comes just a month after 200 testers working on the company’s Apex Legends series were laid off via Zoom call (though given Wilson’s comments that “these decisions began earlier this quarter”, those may have been part of this overall count).
Wilson closes his address by saying the company is “focused on writing our next great chapter by bringing more amazing games to more people around the world”, and that “the future of entertainment is interactive, and no team is better equipped to lead this transformation than us.”