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EA refuses to confirm or deny LMNO lay-offs

Monday, 3rd November 2008 07:36 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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EA has refused to confirm or deny whether or not the majority of the LMNO team was laid off last week.

The company has clarified its noncommittal position by saying it isn’t detailing where staff cuts are to be made in the wake of the announcement of a 6 percent reduction in its workforce, confirmed Thursday.

Talk emerged on Friday that most of the creatives working on LMNO – the codename for EA’s second collaboration with Steven Spielberg, in development at EALA – are now out of jobs.

Following the publication of this story, Kotaku was contacted by EA on the matter, with the site publishing an email from the firm that said the game was still in production and, “The rumor is incorrect.”

We got the same statement from EA UK, albeit with the last line missing.

Eurogamer then published a statement from an EA rep later that day, saying that rumours of the lay-offs were “categorically not true”. This article has now been reworded.

We contacted EA US after these stories ran and asked the following question: Were members of the LMNO team made redundant this week?

“Development of LMNO continues at EALA under the creative leadership of Doug Church (creative director) and Lou Castle (executive producer),” reiterated a rep via email.

“EA announced yesterday that we are raking a cost reduction action that will impact roughly six percent of our workforce worldwide.

“It is never easy to see good colleagues leave the company. We take this very seriously and eliminating even one job is a tough decision.”

When pushed specifically on whether or not members of the LMNO team were made redundant last week, the same rep told us on Saturday: “We are not providing detailed numbers on a per location basis.

“We have only said that the action impacts approximately 6 percent of our workforce worldwide.”

For the record, it is true. The majority of the team was laid off. On Thursday. Staff were given severance packages, and apparently the whole thing was handled “nicely”. Senior members were involved in the redundancies. Those involved spent the day in the pub.

Only a handful of people are left on the team, including, as EA said earlier today in a statement, creative director Doug Church and executive producer and Westwood co-founder, Lou Castle.

LMNO has no release date as yet. The game is a “secret agent” action title: read a fuller description on Kotaku.

Those now without payroll – we salute you.

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