Andrew Wilson EA EA Layoffs EA Lays Off 670 Employees Games Industry Layoffs Games Industry Layoffs 2024 News PlayStation PS5 Respawn Sony star wars Star Wars FPS

EA Announces Strategic Shift, Lays Off 5% Of Total Workforce Or 670 Employees, Respawn’s Star Wars FPS Reportedly Cancelled As A Result

Continuing what has been an awful time in the games industry, EA has announced it will be laying off 5% of its total workforce, or 670 employees.

This comes as part of Electronic Arts chief executive officer Andrew Wilson telling employees that the company is “continuing to evolve our business and teams,” revealing a strategic shift that sees EA focusing more on “owned IP.”

Wilson says that projects are being cancelled, and that it will be “moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry.”

“As a company full of creators and storytellers, we believe in the value of teams innovating together, and continue to learn and adopt new ways of collaborating to grow and serve our global communities.

Given how and where we are working, we are continuing to optimize our global real estate footprint to best support our business.

We are also sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry.

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.

Lastly, we are streamlining our company operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom.” – Andrew Wilson

It’s again upsetting to see so many lives thrown into chaos by these mass layoffs. EA is one of the most successful publishers in the business thanks to its EA Sports division and those “licensed IP” games that it now wants to move away from.

All that put together, it’s no shock that shortly after Wilson’s statement went live, a note from EA Entertainment head Laura Miele to employees (via IGN) revealed one of the cancelled games was Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars FPS game.

“It’s always hard to walk away from a project, and this decision is not a reflection of the team’s talent, tenacity, or passion they have for the game,” she said.

“Giving the fans the next installments of the iconic franchises they want is the definition of blockbuster storytelling and the right place to focus.”

Miele also added “I will never lose sight of the human impact of these decisions, and know that change and disruption aren’t easy. In difficult moments, we must remember how important it is to show up for your players and for each other.”

A Star Wars game from the team that’s delivered some of the best FPS games this industry has seen period sounded like a match made in heaven.

Now, as EA makes this shift to focus more on Apex Legends and other IP it owns, we won’t get to see this game. Respawn will however still make Star Wars: Jedi games.

Electronic Arts laid off 780 employees last year, right at the end of March 2023. This year, just ahead of March, 670. The publisher laid off more than 1,200 employees alone last year, and this year’s count is already more than half that.

Since the beginning of last year, there has been an unprecedented consistency with which publishers and studios across the industry have suffered layoffs or have been shut down entirely.

It is no stretch to say that this is one of the games industry’s most trying times in its history. Hopefully all those impacted are able to land on their feet.

Source – [EA, IGN]