EA isn’t immune to the recent round of large-scale lay-offs that have been hitting the gaming industry, announcing that around 350 staff are being laid off amid organisational changes.
The majority of employees affected appear to be from Japan and Russia, with EA choosing to decrease its presence in these regions, which will apparently help Electronic Arts better deliver on the needs of its players. Unless you happen to be Japanese or Russian, that is.
“Today we took some important steps as a company to address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead”, said EA CEO Andrew Wilson. “As part of this, we have made changes to our marketing and publishing organization, our operations teams, and we are ramping down our current presence in Japan and Russia as we focus on different ways to serve our players in those markets.
“This is a difficult day,” he continued, no doubt fighting back the crocodile tears. “The changes we’re making today will impact about 350 roles in our 9,000-person company. These are important but very hard decisions, and we do not take them lightly. We are friends and colleagues at EA, we appreciate and value everyone’s contributions, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we are looking after our people to help them through this period to find their next opportunity. This is our top priority.”
It’s worth bearing in mind of course that CEO Andrew Wilson earns 371 times the average wage of Electronics Arts employees, likely more than all 350 laid off staff combined. Wilson recently appeared in a list of the most overpaid CEOs in the United States, taking home a salary of $35,728,764. You Sow analysis takes account of salary, pay ratio compared to average workers at their companies, plus shareholder votes, to determine how overpaid a CEO is. Wilson was estimated to be overpaid to the tune of $19,673,861 annually.
EA has gone through a turbulent period lately, although it’s certainly not evident the Russian marketing teams were responsible for this. Anthem bombed critically and appears to be performing poorly commercially, while Battlefield V has been a damp squib, the Need For Speed series has become an embarrassment, and Star Wars Battlefront, well, you all know about Battlefront. The saving grace has been the rise of Apex Legends, although it remains to be seen whether this battle royale contender can stick in the long term.