Layoffs at EA Montreal and Los Angeles as gargantuan company manages console transition

Army of Two developer affected.

EA has let go an undisclosed number of staff at its Montreal and Los Angeles bases.

In a blog post called "Transition is our Friend", EA Labels president Frank Gibeau blamed the layoffs on a realignment sparked by the transition to the next-generation of consoles, including the just-announced PlayStation 4.

"EA's leadership on these high-growth platforms allows us to retain and attract the industry's best talent," he said. "Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives.

"But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job."

He added: "Console transitions are a complex and challenging experience. I've helped navigate several and agree with an old saying we have at EA: Transition is our friend.

"All the trend lines are converging to reward the creative and financial investments we have made in mobile and console technology. We have never been more ready or more excited about what comes next."

Montreal is home to Visceral Montreal, the developer of the Army of Two series, which includes the upcoming Devil's Cartel. Kotaku had heard the studio was being shut down but EA denied this. It issued the following statement: "EA Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to sharpen our teams' focus on console and mobile games."

As for Los Angeles, that's home to Danger Close, developer of last year's commercial flop Medal of Honor: Warfighter. With EA confirming the retirement of the Medal of Honor brand earlier this year, the fate of the studio remains unknown.

Doom and gloom then, but Gibeau insisted EA will manage the console transition with aplomb, and pointed to its first confirmed next-gen game, Battlefield 4, and mobile games The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Real Racing 3 as evidence of his claim.

"Yesterday Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, signaling that after seven years, gamers will be treated to a massive leap in technology, creativity and fun. In the months ahead, we expect more announcements on new platforms and partnerships," he said.

"For EA's creative teams, this transition comes as no surprise. We've been investing and innovating on new technology for months. Console partners who have seen our early work agree, EA's next-gen software is nothing short of astonishing. At a GameStop company meeting earlier this week, we gave 500 store managers a sneak peak at Battlefield 4. The game received a huge ovation and thousands of fans reacted to a single enthusiastic Tweet by GameStop's CEO.

"And every bit as impressive as the console initiative is the way our teams have pivoted to capture the mobile phenomenon. EA has established a clear leadership position on both the iOS and Android systems and we've set new standards for business models and gameplay. The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been a runaway success and next week we will release Real Racing 3, a free-to-play masterpiece from our Firemonkeys studio, with graphics many people mistake for a current generation console experience."

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