Electronic Arts slashes jobs in California, Montreal

EA has confirmed significant layoffs in both Los Angeles and Montreal today, as part of a “transitioning” move for the company. If you think this move is conveniently timed around the PlayStation 4 reveal yesterday, you’d be right: EA president of labels Frank Gibeau explains that “console transitions are a complex and challenging experience”, and the publisher must let staff go as part of that process.

[img_big]center,10037,2012-12-07/ao2_dec_03.png,Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel[/img_big]

In a public statement, Gibeau explains:

Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.

EA Montreal has been working on Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, which is due out next month for Xbox 360 and PS3 – and we are hearing that, rather than simply losing workers, the studio now may have been closed down completely, as well as the Canadian branch of Dead Space studio Visceral Games.

After rumours started swirling on Twitter, EA issued the following statement to Polygon.

Today EA internally announced some adjustments to select development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth areas, including new technologies and mobile. Many employees are being retrained for new positions; however a small number will be released. These are great, talented people and we wish them well. EA is growing globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year.

EA Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to sharpen our teams’ focus on console and mobile games.

No word as yet on the future of Visceral Montreal.

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