Layoffs at EA are in Preparation For the “Transition” to Next-Gen Consoles
Information about EA layoffs was leaked by a source within the company on Monday. Bioware San Francisco, the branch known as EA2D until a merge with Bioware in 2011, was completely shut down and its 30 employees sent to find new jobs. It seems that maintaining an office in that part of California was “too expensive”.
The studio in question developed the kind of games that EA is known for like Dragon Age: Legends and other Facebook games, some of which you have probably played. They also made a few browser-based games such as Mirror’s Edge 2D. Although it’s true that a game development branch in San Francisco was likely quite expensive, the layoffs at EA were brought on by a transition the company is making to console gaming. Two weeks ago, Frank Gibeau, EA Labels president, let the world know that the transition—as well as the layoffs—was coming: “We’ve been investing and innovating on new technology for months. Console partners who have seen our early work agree, EA’s next-gen software is nothing short of astonishing.”
“Console transitions are a complex and challenging experience. I’ve helped navigate several and agree with an old saying we have at EA: Transition is our friend. All the trend lines are converging to reward the creative and financial investments we have made in mobile and console technology. We have never been more ready or more excited about what comes next.”
His post was titled Transition is Our Friend, which sound like words coming from someone whose job isn’t on the chopping board. He said that thousands of people have been “retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives.”
“But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.”
So San Francisco was one of the “smaller locations”. It remains to be seen where the other layoffs at EA might be, but one thing is for sure: there are some talented mobile game developers out there ready to make the next big thing.