EA studio Firemonkeys reportedly affected by layoffs
Electronic Arts’ (EA) Melbourne-based Firemonkeys Studio is said to be laying off two-thirds of its staff as it shifts its focus to The Sims FreePlay.
- According to a recent Kotaku Australia report, Firemonkeys is restructuring "to focus on supporting live services for The Sims FreePlay." It is claimed that operations for Real Racing 3 and Need for Speed: No Limits have been transferred to EA's Slingshot studio in India, affecting up to two-thirds of its employees. Several other projects are said to have been shelved, including The Sims Mobile, which is now in the hands of Slingshot.
- EA executives are said to have flown to Australia near the end of April to announce the changes in a studio update, with the studio's general manager, Joe Donoghue, also caught up in the wave of layoffs, with his last day at the company being April 28. Some of the affected two-thirds will be transferred to other projects within Firemonkeys, and those individuals were notified last week.
- Similar layoffs at the studio in 2019 affected 40-50 employees and resulted in the cancellation of Real Racing 4, which was just months away from having an early access build. EA's CEO, Andrew Wilson, announced earlier this year that 6% of the publisher's workforce would be laid off as part of an internal restructuring as the company changed its "strategic priorities," affecting approximately 700 employees.
Other recent layoffs:
- Kabam, the publisher and developer of Disney Mirrorverse, has confirmed that "current economics and the industry's market realities" have resulted in the decision to lay off 12% of its workforce. According to sources, up to 90 employees have been directly impacted.
- Sega has announced the layoff of 121 Relic Entertainment employees as part of a studio-wide restructuring. The studio cites "external factors [that] are challenging our industry more than ever" as the reason for the restructuring.