EA confirms lay-offs; PopCap Vancouver, Quicklime closed

Thursday, 25 April 2013 22:16 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Following rumours of the closure of the entire EA Partners label, EA has made a very vague statement confirming lay-offs and restructuring.

“In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile,” the publisher said in a statement titled “Organizational Update”.

“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.”

Obviously, it’s unclear how many staff have been cut or what roles they served. All the best to those affected.

Update

Kotaku has what is alleged to be a memo from executive chairman Larry Probst, sent to all employees to announce the job cuts. Probst reiterates messages about the difficulty of the decision to make cuts and the value EA places on employees, and says the cuts made in the last two weeks “represent the majority of our planned personnel actions”.

He also outlined two major structural changes:

“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.”

Casualties
In addition to previously reported cuts in EA’s mobile and casual division, a couple of tweets noted by GameInformer suggest PopCap’s Vancouver office and Quicklime have both been shuttered.

PopCap Vancouver made hidden object games, and Quicklime was staffed by former EA Blackbox staff and developed Need for Speed: World on PC.

EA is going through a bit of a rough patch; it hasn’t turned a decent profit in quite a while, eventually resulting in the exit of former CEO John Riccitiello.

This talk of focusing on “new technologies and mobile” may seem a bit worrying, but could refer to a next-gen push rather than ploughing on with unsuccessful current-gen projects. It seems unlikely EA will be chasing the social and casual dollar too blindly as it seems to have made serious cuts in that division.

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