Things have been rocky for the past few months at Electronic Arts. There was John Riccitiello's dismissal, contractions in the expected business thanks to a second Worst Company in America title and SimCity launch woes, and now this reduction of about 10% in EA's workforce.
In a statement, the company said that "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." That certainly seems to suggest the cost of next-generation development has risen for EA's studios, but I think the mobile market is more to blame.
EA has now made good on their push into casual and free-to-play games with the popularity of The Simpsons: Tapped Out taking off. The company is likely seeing a better, faster return on development for mobile platforms, plus it's not as if console games like Army of Two were keeping them in business.
In a memo obtained by Kotaku, EA interim CEO Larry Probst surmizes the changes in EA's structure as follows:
- 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 consisten 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.
That's it! That's what 10% less people on payroll looks like from a high level, I guess. We'll bring you anymore word on these changes at EA and we hope everyone influenced by the reductions lands on their feet.