EA reportedly slashing jobs in two countries

The hits keep coming for those employed in the games industry, with the news that EA‘s Vancouver studios have been forced to lay off staff. On the other side of the planet, we’re hearing stories that EA Mobile developer Firemint has also had to let a handful of staff go.

[img_big]center,8390,2011-11-17/spymousehd_screen_en_02.jpg,Firemint’s latest: SPY Mouse[/img_big]

First though, Canada. EA has confirmed a “small number” of job losses have hit Vancouver – home to both EA Canada and Black Box (best known for Need for Speed).

The official statement from the publisher is unsurprising, blaming a “transformation” bringing the studios in-line with EA‘s new strategy.

EA in Vancouver is transforming its studio to align with EA’s transformation to high-growth digital formats, including online, social gaming and free-to-play. Employees in our BC studio are learning new skills and working on digital games and services, and there are many examples.

Developed at the EA SPORTS studio in Burnaby, the FIFA Soccer franchise represents the cutting edge of AAA gaming integrated with multiplatform extensions and online features. The Need for Speed World team in Burnaby is leading the digital transformation with 11 million registered players. As the BC studio makes this transformation, a small number of employees are being impacted while most others are being retrained, redeployed and rolling-on to new projects.

In Australia, the story is a little different, with Kotaku Australia reporting that up to 10 people have lost their jobs at EA‘s Melbourne-based Firemint studios. “A producer and several artists” are believed to have been affected.

Firemint community manager Sam Mayo has denied the claims, which still circle the local industry.

We have not fired ten people, SPY mouse is a very successful product which we’re continuing to support … December was very very good for us — Real Racing 2 HD sat in the #1 position in the top selling charts during the lucrative week from Christmas to New Years.

It’s sobering news, particularly given that EA recently closed the Melbourne-based arm of Visceral studios.

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