EA Issues Another Big Round Of Layoffs, Cancels Games Including A Star Wars Shooter

Electronic Arts sign on a grass.
We're barely two months into 2024 and it's already shaping up to be a tough year as it applies to job security in the tech industry. Unfortunately, layoff announcements have been coming in at a steady pace. Google, eBay, Discord, Riot Games, and Sony PlayStation have all announced reductions in head counts over the past several weeks, and now Electronic Arts is joining the fray.

In an email sent to employees, EA CEO Andrew Wilson outlined the reasons for the layoffs, which the company made public on its website. According to the email, EA will reduce its workforce by around 5%. It's not clear exactly how many individuals will be let go, though in a regulatory filing with the SEC last year that was related to a restructuring plan, EA indicated it employed 13,400 workers globally. If that's still the case, a 5% reduction would amount to 670 layoffs.

Wilson explained in his company-wide email that the industry is transforming and "player needs and motivations have changed significantly."

"Fans are increasingly engaging with the largest IP, and looking to us for broader experiences where they can play, watch, create content, and forge deeper connections. Our industry exists at the cutting edge of entertainment, and in today’s dynamic environment, we are advancing the way we work and continuing to evolve our business," Wilson wrote.

That sounds like a great opportunity for growth and expansion, though Wilson goes on to explain that EA is effectively tightening its belt as it aims to "optimize our global real estate footprint." That includes not only a round of layoffs affecting hundreds of workers, but also "sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP" that it doesn't believe will be successful.

"We are streamlining our company operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom," Wison added.

Star Wars lightsaber duel with EA's logo on top of one of the characters.

Wilson's email doesn't specify what games and franchises are getting the axe. However, EA Entertainment president Laura Miele apparently confirmed to Video Games Chronicles that a Star Wars FPS that was being developed by Respawn is one of the casualties.

"Respawn‘s unique ability to connect with players and create exceptional game experiences is unrivaled in entertainment," Miele told VGC. "As we’ve looked at Respawn’s portfolio over the last few months, what’s clear is the games our players are most excited about are Jedi and Respawn’s rich library of owned brands. Knowing this, we have decided to pivot away from early development on a Star Wars FPS Action game to focus our efforts on new projects based on our owned brands while providing support for existing games."

The site also reports that EA has closed Ridgeline Games, which was formed in 2021 to develop future single-player Battlefield games. News of the shuttering comes a week after the studio's co-founder and Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto confirmed on X/Twitter that he had left the company due to personal reasons.