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GRTV News - EA met with major layoffs

A studio has been closed and various games either cancelled or shut down.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of GRTV News.
We're doing it three days in a trot, we're talking about layoffs because every day something big seems to happen in regard to this.
We know it's going to be the case probably heading up all the way through March as well."

"We're going to be seeing news like this where publishers and game developers are looking to reduce the workforce to balance out cost, shall we say.
But every time you see news like this, it's disappointing nonetheless.
The latest company to be hit by layoffs is EA.
Now this isn't just layoffs like, you know, they're just cutting the workforce as cost-cutting measures."

"This is more similar to what's happened with PlayStation recently as well.
A studio has been shut down and various projects have been cancelled as well, all as EA significantly adjusts the way that it operates.
So let's dive on in and take a look at this massive development.
EA cancels Mandalorian game after massive layoffs."

"Respawn first-person shooter set in the Star Wars universe is no more as Electronic Arts says goodbye to around 670 employees.
We're getting close to the end of the fiscal year, which means that even more layoffs are happening in the games industry.
PlayStation announced it was planning to cut 900 jobs earlier this week, which led to multiple games being cancelled."

"Now it's Electronic Arts' turn.
Andrew Wilson, EA's CEO, confirms the massive publisher is laying off approximately 5% of its workforce.
That's around 670 people losing their jobs so that EA can optimize our global real estate footprint to better support our business.
The changes don't stop there either as Wilson makes it sound like we should expect many more Star Wars and Marvel games from them in the future because EA is sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry."

"The last part is obviously interesting when we know that motive is working on an Iron Man game.
Cliffhanger is all hands on a Black Panther game and Respawn was developing three Star Wars games.
I write was because the latter is no longer the case.
Laura Miele, the president of EA Entertainment and Technology, says that one of the games being cancelled as part of these layoffs is the long-rumored first-person learning game from Respawn, Jones reminded you about earlier this month."

"This probably means the developers of Titanfall and Apex Legends are left with working on the yet-to-be-formerly-announced strategy game and the sequel to Star Wars Jedi Survivor.
So yeah, a lot to look at there.
It wasn't directly mentioned by Eric in this news piece here, but the studio that's been closed down as well is the Battlefield studio that was run or created, should we say, by the Halo co-founder or co-creator, should we say, Marcus Leto."

"Ridgeline Games has been closed down with the developers that are making up that studio or were making up that studio, either being moved to different studios or being laid off.
Ridgeline was working on the single-player portion of Battlefield, with that now being moved over and handled by Criterion.
So two very different studios working on that now, which begs the question as to how it's going to ultimately be offered up."

"But on top of that, yes, Respawn has had to cancel their single-player first-person shooter Mandalorian game, which is a game that when it was sort of teased, I think a lot of people were very excited about, but that's not happening anymore.
We're still going to be getting the Star Wars Jedi Survivor sequel, which will be the third and final part of that Star Wars Jedi trilogy."

"And then as well, Eric mentions some sort of strategy game that's yet to be announced.
I personally, being a fan of the idea of the Mandalorian game, would prefer the Mandalorian game over the strategy game, but you never know, maybe the strategy game could be really special. We'll stay tuned for that.
On top of that, and on top of the 670 layoffs, it was mentioned that a few different of its mobile titles have been changed."

"It looks like it's consolidating EA Sports FC, Madden NFL, and The Sims.
But as we've known before, the Kim Kardashian Hollywood game has been shut down, although I'm not too sure many people are going to be that fazed by that one.
Likewise, it just says Lord of the Rings. I'm not too sure which Lord of the Rings mobile game EA is talking about there, but Lord of the Rings has been shut down, as has Tapsports Baseball and F1 Mobile."

"So four existing games have been shut down.
One upcoming game that we know about has been shut down, but the way that EA phrases it makes it seem like the Marvel games are also being canned as well, because you don't say that you're going to be sunsetting future licensed IP and then only cancel one of them.
So to me, it looks like we could be seeing the Iron Man game, the Black Panther game also facing issues, but we'll see about that."

"We haven't had any official confirmation from EA in that regard.
And yes, Ridgeline Games has been shut down, so the single player portion of Battlefield has been moved over to Criterion, as well as 670 developers losing their jobs.
So yes, it's a pretty big situation that's going on at EA there, a lot that's being changed."

"Again, we're expecting more information and more massive news like this to be happening as we continue through and to the end of this fiscal year.
It's been a tough, I think we're going to be looking at a tough 2024-25 fiscal year, where you can see that game companies are starting to manage the way they're operating a little bit more, instead of just being these sort of giant entertainment factories that crank out content."

"So I think we're going to see more layoffs over the coming weeks.
This week alone, we're up to, at this point, I think over 1,700 layoffs, which puts the total for 2024, I think over or nearing 8,500, which means we're about 3,000 layoffs away from reaching the total, I think, of 2023.
And no doubt we'll get close to that by the end of the year."

"So hopefully we won't be talking about layoffs tomorrow, but you never know, you never know.
So that's all the time we have on today's episode, and we'll see you all on tomorrow's.
Take care, everyone."

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