Electronic Arts is laying off up to 100 EA Austin employees, according to a report by Kotaku. Many of the affected employees are reported to be customer service personnel who provide support to FIFA players via email, phone, and live chat.
In an email viewed by the publication, EA VP of customer experience Joel Knutson stated that the layoffs were done to “reduce complexity and increase [EA’s] efficiency, flexibility, and scalability.” In the email, Knutson also stated that he would propose similar cuts to customer support staff in EA’s Galway, Ireland office. Going forward, EA will reportedly outsource much of its customer service work.
According to the report, the layoffs occurred after multiple complaints raised by staff members over substandard annual raises. Some employees reportedly saw wage increases of as small as $0.10 a year.
This comes just one week after EA published its financial results for the end of its 2022 fiscal year, which revealed the company is making quite a bit of money, with the FIFA franchise seemingly playing a large role in it. As outlined by the company itself, FIFA games grew to have more than 150 million users during the prior fiscal year, and FIFA Mobile also had its “biggest quarter ever” during the final quarter of the year.
The company also profited quite a bit from a handful of other titles in its prior fiscal year. Apex Legends, in particular, was so successful throughout FY 2022 that the game has now earned $2 billion in lifetime net bookings.
EA also announced last week that it would part ways with FIFA and rebrand its popular football simulator series as “EA Sports FC.” The rebrand is expected to happen in summer 2023. Following the split, FIFA will also begin work on finding a new studio to partner with to develop its own brand of FIFA-branded football simulators without EA’s involvement.