In recent weeks it seems that the video games industry has been plagued with a variety of layoffs at various developers. Activision, the developers behind Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, announced approximately 800 layoffs. AreaNet, the developer of Guild Wars 2, is also apparently going to be laying off some staff also.
As Simmers, it hits closer to home when it’s an EA studio, or in particular a studio that has involvement with The Sims or SimCity franchises. In 2015, we shared the story that EA closed the doors of Maxis Emeryville and today EA FireMonkeys, the developers of The Sims FreePlay, are also being hit by some layoffs.
While it is currently unclear exactly how many staff will be affected by this, it is estimated to be around 80-100 individuals. FireMonkeys is a studio of approximately 200 people, so it’s a large reduction of staff. These layoffs apparently follow a cancellation of their upcoming title ‘Real Racing 4’ earlier in the week, according to Kotaku, and could also correlate with EA’s lower-than-anticipated quarterly results.
It’s important to remember that large organisations like EA perform company restructured on a regular basis, so news like this is not uncommon.
Interestingly, Kotaku have also suggested that the development of The Sims Mobile will also be transferred over to FireMonkeys from the team within The Sims Studio at Maxis. This could be a good move from EA considering the years of experience that they have had developing The Sims FreePlay, which is still extremely popular. This news is currently unconfirmed however.
EA issued a statement saying the following:
The FireMonkeys studio is working on some of our most popular mobile games. We recently made a decision to shift teams to focus more on our live services, and have entered into a consultation period that may impact some roles in the studio. We’re working to match skills with opportunities as we go through this period, identifying other opportunities at EA, and providing as much help to our employees as we possibly can.
I sincerely wish that all of those affected by layoffs all of the best for the future and want to thank them for their hard work – especially on The Sims FreePlay.