Layoffs Strike EA, Mobile Studio Hit Hardest

Layoffs Strike EA, Mobile Studio Hit Hardest

image

In sad news, mega-publisher EA has laid off a number of employees.

While the exact number of people suddenly finding themselves looking for new work is currently unknown, reports claim that EA Mobile Montreal was the primary focus of the job cuts. That studio employs 300 people, and while specifics are unknown, it seems likely that a relatively sizable percentage of the firm was let go.

Polygon questioned EA about these cuts, and the company was as diplomatic and evasive as you'd expect a major corporation to be when discussing firing decisions. "EA is sharpening its focus to provide games for new platforms and mobile," the firm states. "In some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more efficient organization. These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles. Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world."

So, business as depressingly usual then? It's sad, but the reality of the games industry is that the vast, vast majority of people who work in development are eternally expendable, particularly once a given project has been completed. This is why you always see an increased likelihood of layoffs after a major game hits store shelves. These layoffs are undoubtedly sad news, but those working at EA Mobile Montreal and the other wings of the corporation affected by the recent cuts should be well aware of the volatility of the industry in which they work.

Unfortunately, with so many people seeking out gaming industry jobs as their "dream profession," corporations like EA are free to hire at will, comfortable in the knowledge that there will always be someone else out there capable of doing the same job for less money - much less if we're talking about recent college graduates, who are a prime target for publishers and developers as they're usually too poor and naive to demand proper treatment from their employers.

We wish all former EA employees luck in finding employment elsewhere in the industry, and further hope that this transitional period is a positive, and that they end up better off than they were before.

Source: Polygon

Permalink

Earnest Cavalli:
snip

Edit: Now it's working. XP
OT: Man that sucks, hope that they can possibly find work with other developers. Best of luck to them.

Good! They deserved to lose their jobs for working for a company with some poor practices!

I'm not serious, by the way. I just wanted to get that out of the way. The industry is a tough one to work in, and it is highly competitive for the reason mentioned in the second to last paragraph. Hopefully, the employees will be able to drift to another company.

Right I'm guessing that EA Mobile Montreal deals with mobile apps, so they laid these people off so EA could focus more on new platforms and mobile. I need a /facedesk gif, maybe even a /facewall gif.

Well hopefully those laid off will be able to find a better workplace and will hopefully be soon employed by a better developer.

Captcha: Good Luck - see even the captcha is wishing those laid off well.

Frostbyte666:

Well hopefully those laid off will be able to find a better workplace and will hopefully be soon employed by a better developer.

The good thing about gaming is that the talent tends to get picked up. Well, the good talent.

I do hope that people overlook the fact that these developers were part of the slave lEAbor camps and that these developers can get a decent job outside of EA's excessive need to assume direct control over everything

I hope these laid off employees find jobs soon, and at a better place than they worked at before! Good luck to all of them.

Wait, didn't EA talk about how $60 boxed console games are dead and mobile games are the future?

Correct me if I'm wrong (or right!), but I seem to remember that in some statement somewhere.

Earnest Cavalli:

Unfortunately, with so many people seeking out gaming industry jobs as their "dream profession," corporations like EA are free to hire at will, comfortable in the knowledge that there will always be someone else out there capable of doing the same job for less money - much less if we're talking about recent college graduates, who are a prime target for publishers and developers as they're usually too poor and naive to demand proper treatment from their employers.

I wonder if this is why we've seen so many games and franchises stagnate or even regress this generation. Rather than having development teams made up of experienced individuals with intricate knowledge of the ins and outs of practical game design, publishers are constantly bringing in post-grads who've yet to work on a proper game, and have only just learned how to properly code a 'Press A to get into cover' prompt. It would explain why we've seen so much less innovation in mechanics in the last few years, and instead seen more recycling of what's already popular.

Earnest Cavalli:
EA Mobile Montreal

Well on the bright side, Bioware got a stay of execution.

deathbydeath:
Wait, didn't EA talk about how $60 boxed console games are dead and mobile games are the future?

Correct me if I'm wrong (or right!), but I seem to remember that in some statement somewhere.

No no. TV is the future now. Mobile is so last year and EA are evolving to do something or other that involves firing everyone that was probably making them money.

It saddens me whenever I see news like this, but I'm kinda happy that it happened to EA.

I hope the fired employees find jobs at a better studio.

Poor EA, they're never going to settle on an audience.

I feel sorry about the developers who lost their jobs, however. It's probably one of the hardest times to traditionally enter the industry right now, with all the experienced people floating about after being fired by publisher or developer who can't figure out where the money is disappearing...

I have several conflicting emotions regarding this. I have to laugh a bit as EA jumps all over how successful their mobile endeavors are. If it was as successful as they say it was, they would take those excess personnel and form new studios and take more chances in that market, not contract the studio size and lay people off. Also, I want to point out that getting fired and being laid off are two very different things, though the outcome is same.

I have to cry a bit because it sucks when people lose their jobs. As someone who very narrowly avoided being outsourced only the beginning of this month, I know the stress and troubles it can cause.

I have to address in a sober manner: This is the outcome of an industry that is essentially over saturated. As soon as colleges and universities are widely offering degrees and courses on this kind of thing, it's essentially too late to break in and hope to have a lucrative career in such an endeavor. All the over saturation does is drive salaries and wages down, though I would never suggest that people do not pursue their dream careers. But getting a job working for a company like this is a dead end.

Somewhat surprising considering how bullish EA was about mobile during its last earnings report. Also surprising they didn't completely gut Klicknation (formerly BioWare Social) out in Sacramento.

Baresark:
I have several conflicting emotions regarding this. I have to laugh a bit as EA jumps all over how successful their mobile endeavors are. If it was as successful as they say it was, they would take those excess personnel and form new studios and take more chances in that market, not contract the studio size and lay people off. Also, I want to point out that getting fired and being laid off are two very different things, though the outcome is same.

I have to cry a bit because it sucks when people lose their jobs. As someone who very narrowly avoided being outsourced only the beginning of this month, I know the stress and troubles it can cause.

I have to address in a sober manner: This is the outcome of an industry that is essentially over saturated. As soon as colleges and universities are widely offering degrees and courses on this kind of thing, it's essentially too late to break in and hope to have a lucrative career in such an endeavor. All the over saturation does is drive salaries and wages down, though I would never suggest that people do not pursue their dream careers. But getting a job working for a company like this is a dead end.

The application development industry is not really all that bad, it's just game development that is kind of a dead end. There are a lot of starry eyed graduates going out looking for jobs that aren't necessarily there or involve moving exceptionally long distances to either the west coast or east coast. Also, the number of people trying to dig into the game industry isn't a bad thing as much as the people trying to do so don't have a lot of other passions or interests to draw upon for inspiration.

It sucks for the employees and I hope they find employment quickly.

That said I am waiting for the day EA announces total lay offs including the directors. I'm going to have one hell of a party that day!

This is something I never really understood. Why go into a career where the majority of publishers will fire you after the current project is finished? I understand the appeal to do something you love, but this sort of thing reeks of masochism on the part of the employees, though they do have my sympathy.

I'm from Montreal, and I have friends who were working in the mobile division. >_> They're not happy. The whole thing (from what I hear from them) has been axed.

Mind you, I'm not surprised. They had some SHADY stuff going on there judging by the way it was being managed.

Oh, and I love the doublespeak of "yeah, we are refocusing on mobile...so we cut one of the most productive QA teams for mobile". *facepalm*

??? I thought their head stated their mobile sections were doing quite well. Guess it wasn't doing well enough or they're in between projects.

Perhaps they should start laying off the suits in upper management as well if they have to lay off staff in one of their more successful product lines, or was the whole 'Our IOS products are making money!' spiel they shouted a little while back another lie like the DRM in SimCity?

Hopefully the good talent will find the job elsewhere, hopefully even better one. The bad talent will stay bad however. But thats tue in any industry.
The fastest way to make short term profits are to cut wages or workers. in the long run that is a disaster (unless the workers were actually bad workers), but when did that ever stop companies?

Mister Six:
This is something I never really understood. Why go into a career where the majority of publishers will fire you after the current project is finished? I understand the appeal to do something you love, but this sort of thing reeks of masochism on the part of the employees, though they do have my sympathy.

They are willing tyo accept that to be able to do the work they love perhaps. It is the same as working on contracts relay, you do the contract, you stop working for that person, you search for a new contract. There are plenty of occupations where jobs are not permanent at all, and some people are okay with it. Others - dont work in such industries msot of the time.

Mister Six:
This is something I never really understood. Why go into a career where the majority of publishers will fire you after the current project is finished? I understand the appeal to do something you love, but this sort of thing reeks of masochism on the part of the employees, though they do have my sympathy.

In a market as competitive as this, I believe that many will take any job that provides them with a paycheck, doubly so if it happens to coincide with their chosen profession.

OT: Holy shit, EA, I was wrong. How could've you POSSIBLY get the evil mofos of the year award? You're right here listening to the plebs who think that mobile/casual games suck and that microtransactions can retard themselves out of existence and BAM! you're firing all the people responsible for such games? You are true sweethearts after all.

Well, they don't explain the hiring practices to you, and it takes a while to figure out how it is on the workplace end if all you have for references are teachers who may or may not have had experience with real game industry work, so most students weren't even aware of this situation until the rise of the internet and the increasing publicity of corporate practices.

Did the award had something to do with those layoffs?

Is this because things are bad at EA?

Or is it just them being asshats again?

Yeah, I predicted the layoffs weeks back after the poor Q2 earnings.
Mobile apps are lightweight and cheap to outsource development if need be.

I'm sure this move was just to please investors by showing that they're lowering their operating costs, more than making anything more efficient.

Wherever they find work, at least they won't be working with EA anymore. So they've got that going for them!

They should form their own party, The League of Not EA, dedicated to not being like EA.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here