Videogame publisher Electronic Arts has begun laying off staff at its
Montreal game studio in its latest round of jobs cuts, less than a month
after former Chief Executive John Riccitiello abruptly resigned.
company, known for its "FIFA" and "Sims" games, declined to divulge the
number of jobs affected, or how many employees it has in Montreal, where
it has developed console games like "Army of Two".
sharpening its focus to provide games for new platforms and mobile. In
some cases, this involves reducing team sizes as we evolve into a more
efficient organization," the Redwood City, California-based company said
in a statement.
The Montreal studio, which includes a team that
makes mobile games, is not closing, a spokesman said. He declined to say
which teams within the studio had been affected by the job cuts.
layoffs come shortly after John Riccitiello stepped down as CEO on
March 30, after taking responsibility for missed operational targets.
Former CEO and Chairman Larry Probst has been appointed executive chairman as the company begins its search for the next CEO.
and rivals like Activision Blizzard Inc have seen growth fall off
sharply as more gamers flock to free games on social networks or on
mobile devices. The biggest traditional games publishers have tried to
buy startups, reorganize existing studios and invest in mobile platforms
but face intense competition from entrenched players like Rovio or
EA has been reorganizing studios to embrace new game
platforms and adapt to consumer behavior. Last year, EA's PopCap unit,
which makes social and mobile games, laid off 50 of about 380 staff
members in its Seattle and Vancouver studios to focus on free-to-play
social and mobile games.
The game publisher is also preparing to
adopt the next-generation video game console technology in its games.
Consumers are holding back from buying hardware and software as they
wait for next-generation versions of Sony Corp's PlayStation and
Microsoft Corp's Xbox, expected later this year.
Shares of EA edged higher in extended trading after closing at $17.63 on Nasdaq.
© Thomson Reuters 2013