In what has been more akin to carving a swath of destruction, EA has reportedly laid off 10% of their workforce, including the complete closure of Popcap Vancouver and Quicklime Studio.
News started rumbling earlier today when Popcap Vancouver employees began tweeting about the sudden and possibly unexpected closure of the studio. Quicklime employees followed suit and it wasn't long until EA issued the following statement.
"In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees - those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends.
"These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us."
Layoffs have been no stranger to EA in recent months, and the company has been cutting awfully close to the bone since John Riccitiello resigned as CEO in March citing EA's failure to meet financial expectations. It's clear now that massive layoffs were written in stone as soon as his resignation letter went into effect, and marked the beginning of the culling process to retain maximum profitability for the company. Sources have told 4Player that EA is looking at all aspects of their operations -sometimes by physically sending agents to studios- looking for areas to trim, and that currently no one is considered safe.
It has also been rumored that EA is looking to kill its EA Partners program, which provides smaller contract-based publishing opportunities for independent developers. This program has been responsible for publishing the Crysis series, Bulletstorm and physical copies of Portal 2, among others.
At the time of firing employees were sent the following memo by interim EA CEO Larry Probst
FROM LARRY PROBST
As we begin the new fiscal year, I want to provide you with a brief update on some important changes to our organization. As Executive Chairman, my focus is to ensure EA is delivering high quality games and services to our consumers, while helping the executive team develop a FY14 operating plan that drives growth, rationalizes headcount and controls costs.
In recent weeks, the executive team has been tasked with evaluating every area of our business to establish a clear set of priorities, and a more efficient organizational structure. This process has led to some difficult decisions about the number of people and locations needed to achieve our goals.
The workforce reductions which we communicated in the last two weeks represent the majority of our planned personnel actions. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of these individuals – they will be missed by their colleagues and friends at EA.
We are also taking action to streamline our organization, including changes in two key areas:
· Core marketing functions have been consolidated under our COO, Peter Moore. The combined group will bring together our Label marketing teams, Global Acquisition Marketing and Marketing Analytics into one multi-talented team under Todd Sitrin’s leadership. The development and marketing teams will continue to work as cohesive units, driving clear and consistent messaging and consumer engagement for each of our franchises.
· Origin will move into Frank Gibeau’s Labels organization. Andrew Wilson will take on the leadership of Origin, working with CJ Prober and the team to create more value and an enhanced entertainment experience for our consumers.
Change is sometimes difficult, but essential. The adjustments we are making will put us in the best position to build great games and services, deliver them more efficiently to consumers, and demonstrate to players around the world why they should spend their time with us.
EA is a great company, with talented and hard-working teams, a strong portfolio of products and an extremely bright future.
Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to our long term success!
EA has planned an investor call on May 7th to announce fiscal year 2013 results. It's possible we can expect more concrete details at that time.