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EA confirms more layoffs [Updated]

Publisher continues cuts; PopCap Vancouver and Quicklime added to list of closures in reported headcount reduction of 10% [UPDATE: reorganization info]

Electronic Arts continued its reorganization today, laying off an unspecified number of employees. It is the third time this year the company has confirmed layoffs at its studios.

According to the publisher's statement, "In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile. 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."

A Kotaku report has put the scope of the layoffs at about 10 percent of the company's headcount. According to EA's investor relations site, it employed about 9,000 people globally as of March 31, 2012. An EA representative told GamesIndustry International that the company isn't disclosing specifics on the headcount impact.

Recent months have seen a barrage of negative news for Electronic Arts. It laid off developers at its Montreal and Los Angeles studios in February, and made a second round of cuts earlier this month. In between, EA CEO John Riccitiello stepped down, citing the company's continued failure to meet expectations. Earlier this month, the publisher also announced plans to close all remaining games from the Playfish division.

Earlier today, Game Informer presaged word of the layoffs with a report that the EA Partners division was being closed. Developer tweets have also indicated the closure of hidden object studio PopCap Vancouver and Need for Speed: World developer Quicklime Games.

Update: An internal memo from executive chairman Larry Probst has been acquired by TechCrunch. While the exact number of layoffs remains unknown, the memo does disclose more information about EA's reorganization between COO Peter Moore and EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau.

Here's the complete memo:

As we begin the new fiscal year, I want to provide you with a brief update on some important changes to our organization. As Executive Chairman, my focus is to ensure EA is delivering high quality games and services to our consumers, while helping the executive team develop a FY14 operating plan that drives growth, rationalizes headcount and controls costs.

In recent weeks, the executive team has been tasked with evaluating every area of our business to establish a clear set of priorities, and a more efficient organizational structure. This process has led to some difficult decisions about the number of people and locations needed to achieve our goals.

The workforce reductions which we communicated in the last two weeks represent the majority of our planned personnel actions. We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by each of these individuals - they will be missed by their colleagues and friends at EA.

We are also taking action to streamline our organization, including changes in two key areas:

  • Core marketing functions have been consolidated under our COO, Peter Moore. The combined group will bring together our Label marketing teams, Global Acquisition Marketing and Marketing Analytics into one multi-talented team under Todd Sitrin's leadership. The development and marketing teams will continue to work as cohesive units, driving clear and consistent messaging and consumer engagement for each of our franchises.
  • Origin will move into Frank Gibeau's Labels organization. Andrew Wilson will take on the leadership of Origin, working with CJ Prober and the team to create more value and an enhanced entertainment experience for our consumers.

Change is sometimes difficult, but essential. The adjustments we are making will put us in the best position to build great games and services, deliver them more efficiently to consumers, and demonstrate to players around the world why they should spend their time with us.

EA is a great company, with talented and hard-working teams, a strong portfolio of products and an extremely bright future.

Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to our long term success!

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.