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EA lays off 670 employees, shuts down games and cancels “licensed IP development” including Respawn’s Star Wars FPS

An already difficult year for the gaming industry has become even darker – EA plans to lay off 670 workers, about 5% of its workforce, as part of a large-scale business restructuring that will include the closure of existing games and the cancellation of licensed projects.

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In a letter to employees obtained by IGN , EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the reorganization is intended to respond to “the accelerating transformation of the industry, in which the needs and motivations of players have changed significantly.”

 

As part of the restructuring, EA is moving away “from developing future licensed IP.” The company has not yet revealed all of the affected teams and projects, but Wilson confirmed the cancellation of Respawn’s Star Wars first-person shooter. Not much is known about this game, but rumors have it that it was supposed to be an adaptation of The Mandalorian.

 

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It’s always hard to abandon a project, and this decision does not reflect the talent, tenacity or passion of the team for the game. Giving fans the new installments of iconic franchises they want is the definition of blockbuster storytelling, and it’s worth focusing on.

 

– EA Entertainment President Laura Miele

 

Additionally, Ridgeline Games, a Seattle studio founded in 2021 to develop Battlefield’s single-player campaign, is closing as part of the restructuring. Some of its employees are moving to Ripple Effect, the co-developer of Battlefield, originally known as DICE LA. It looks like a single-player component of Battlefield is still in the plans for EA, led by Criterion’s Danny Isaac and Darren White.

 

Wilson said EA will now focus on its own IP, sports and “huge online communities,” shifting developers from other projects to support those areas.

 

Greater focus will allow us to enhance creativity, accelerate innovation and double down on investment in our biggest capabilities – proprietary IP, sports and massive online communities – to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow. Finally, we are streamlining the company’s business operations to deliver even deeper experiences for fans everywhere that connect communities, shape culture and grow fandoms.

 

I understand that this will create uncertainty and be a difficult challenge for many who have worked with such dedication, passion and made important contributions to our company. While not all teams will be affected, this is the hardest part of this change. We have considered all options very carefully to minimize the impact on teams. Our main goal is to provide employees with opportunities to find new roles and transition to other projects. And where this is not possible, we will support and work with each colleague with the utmost attention, care and respect.

 

The sad news from EA comes shortly after the recent mass layoffs at PlayStation, affecting Naughty Dog, Insomniac and the complete closure of the PlayStation London studio. 2024 has already seen cuts in Unity, Xbox, Twitch and Discord, and judging by forecasts, it won’t be better until 2025-26.

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