Industry Layoffs Continue as EA Dismisses 200 Apex Staff
Hours ago, it was revealed that more than two hundred EA employees were laid off, specifically from Apex Legends’ QA and testing departments. This team, which was centred in Baton Rouge, Florida, is a long-standing department that has existed within Electronic Arts for some time. However, according to insider reports, it has been claimed that even the team’s management staff were unaware that the entire department was being shut down.
Following a mandatory internal call, the 200-strong team was instantly dismissed. There were leaks that fell out from within the beleaguered team just as instantly, confirming the dire circumstances within the Baton Rouge office. Most recently, the team was responsible for testing Apex Legends, the popular battle royale, but in the past, the department had focused on the likes of Battlefield 2042.
And So It Continues
At the moment, the gaming and esports industries are writhing under the weight of a spree of layoffs. In the last few weeks, titans such as Microsoft have seen thousands of redundancies take place, and some esports organisations have collapsed entirely. For instance, last week, The Guard suddenly laid off every employee, and its esports teams – such as the LA Guerrillas in the Call of Duty League – will be scrapped if they’re not bought by the end of the season.
First covered by Kotaku, the news regarding EA’s testers is the latest in a long line of stories to break regarding redundancies in the space. It’s never good news, but we’re becoming desensitised to it these days simply because of how common a theme it’s becoming. In a statement to Kotaku, a spokesperson for EA gave an all-business update on the situation:
‘As part of our ongoing global strategy, we are expanding the distribution of our Apex Legends testing team and ending testing execution that’s been concentrated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, impacting services provided by our third-party provider.’
Apparently, according to a corroboration report provided by Insider Gaming, these redundancies came following the training of staff in the United Kingdom and Romania. It may be a cost reduction exercise, but whatever the reason, EA insists it’s a decision that will help them to ‘better serve our growing community around the world’.
Last month, EA issued the cancellation of both Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile. While very few users mourned the latter, the former generated quite a lot of buzz online, with some users going so far as to start online petitions to stop the closure of the game. At the time of writing, one of the leading petitions has picked up more than 3,200 signatures.
This may be the latest set of redundancies to take place within the industry, but it certainly isn’t expected to be the last. Be sure to stay connected for all the latest news in esports and gaming.