EA Lays Off Most of Montreal Staff in Disastrous Day for Developers

by Joseph Czikk

There will be a lot of game developers looking for work tomorrow morning.

Electronic Arts, “The worst company in America” in both 2012 and 2013, has laid off 170 people today in Montreal.

Several sources reported that the California-based company is laying off its entire staff at EA Mobile Montreal, with some estimate as high as 250-300 people. The studio was said to of employed around 300 people before today.  In a statement sent around to media outlets the company said that they are “sharpening their focus” to create games for more platforms as well as mobile.

“In some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more efficient organization,” read the statement. “These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles.”

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Sources like Kotaku indicated that most of the quality assurance team (video game testers) and all developers at the Place Ville Marie studio are now without a job.

The last two weeks have not been kind to the company, as just last week CEO John Riccitiello resigned following a poor showing last quarter. In 2012 EA, the gaming world’s third largest company, posted $4.1 billion in revenue. That couldn’t prevent today’s disastrous results.

Riccitiello reportedly said he wished for EA to have a “clean start” in 2014, and that he was 100 per cent accountable. "My decision to leave EA is really all about my accountability for the shortcomings in our financial results this year,” read his letter. “It currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued to the Street, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago”

EA had previously laid off employees at its Los Angeles studio as well, followed by further cuts around the world.

Consumer Reports Magazine’s online subsidiary The Consumerist was behind dubbing EA the “worst company in America” in both 2012 and 2013.  Earlier this month CEO Peter Moore responded to the title, claiming that “we can do better," simultaneously blaming LGBT rights opposers and disgruntled Madden Fans.

One online blog, Joystiq, reported that one employee told them “If you walk through the office all you see is a bunch of already cleared out desks,” and “People cleaning out their desks."

Electronic Arts
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Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is a freelance reporter currently based in Montreal. more

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