Business as usual at Respawn as EA layoffs hit hard

"These are hard but essential changes."

A fuzzy, solitary image of Respawn's game, a new IP shooter for multiple platforms and published by EA.

Respawn Entertainment, the studio founded by the creators of the Call of Duty franchise, has insisted it is business as usual amid widespread layoffs at publisher EA.

Yesterday multiple reports indicated that EA had shut down EA Partners, the label responsible for publishing externally developed games - including Respawn's.

The reports sparked concern that Respawn, hard at work on a shooter set for its debut at the E3 show in June, had been affected. Not so.

"We're just fine over here," wrote the studio on its official Twitter page. "No need to worry about us. Always sad to hear about layoffs other places though."

Then, "Business as usual," from community manager Abbie Heppe.

Since former EA boss John Riccitiello's exit from the company, interim boss Larry Probst has streamlined the business, resulting in a number of studio closures.

"In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile," the company wrote in a blog post titled "EA Organizational Update".

"This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of our employees - those that are leaving EA will be missed by their colleagues and friends.

"These are hard but essential changes as we focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us."

EA Montreal, the developer of the Army of Two franchise, has reportedly shut down. A number of staff at its LA base, which includes Medal of Honor creator Danger Close, are thought to have been let go.

And just last week it shuttered a number of "older" Facebook games, including The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society, leaving the EA-owned social developer PlayFish out in the cold.

Riccitiello quit after it emerged that the results of EA's last fiscal year, which ended on 30th March 2013, would come in below the guidance the company issued in January.

"We have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago," Riccitiello said in his resignation letter. "EA's shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss."

EA has a number of games confirmed for release in the current financial year, including FIFA 14, a new Madden, Battlefield 4, Insomniac's Fuse and a new Need for Speed game.

The company has so far refused to specify the number of layoffs it has suffered so far. All eyes, then, on its financial briefing next month.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editor

Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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