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Electronic Arts, maker of Madden NFL, to lay off 5% of staff as gaming industry layoffs widen

<i>Mike Blake/Reuters via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Electronic Arts plans to lay off 5% of its employees
Mike Blake/Reuters via CNN Newsource
Electronic Arts plans to lay off 5% of its employees

By Clare Duffy, CNN

New York (CNN) — Electronic Arts plans to lay off 5% of its employees, making it the latest company in the gaming and tech space to reduce its workforce.

EA, the maker of lucrative game franchises such as the Madden NFL games and Apex Legends, said the layoffs are part of a broader restructuring aimed at supporting “strategic priorities and growth initiatives,” according to a Tuesday securities filing. EA added that it plans to reduce its office space footprint.

The company also indicated it plans to make changes to its future content slate.

“We are also sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed (intellectual property) that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a memo to employees on Wednesday that was included in the company’s securities filing. “We are streamlining our company operations to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom.”

The video game industry has been slashing jobs over the past year. EA itself laid off around 800 employees last year.

Epic Games cut 830 jobs in September. In January, Tencent’s Riot Games said it would lay off 11% of its workforce and Microsoft said it would cut 1,900 jobs from its Activision Blizzard and Xbox gaming divisions. And electronics giant Sony said on Tuesday it would cut 8% of its global workforce, amounting to around 900 jobs.

EA said in its most recent annual report, filed in May of last year, that it had 13,400 employees as of March 31, 2023. That means that after its cuts to staff last year, Wednesday’s layoffs could affect more than 600 workers.

EA’s stock closed up nearly 0.5% on Wednesday. The company’s shares have risen nearly 27% from this time last year.

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