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Respawn gets caught up in EA's recent layoff wave, with the brunt of it seemingly going to the Apex Legends team.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 14, 2024

2 Min Read
Mirage, Rampart, and Crypto in the season 20 art for Apex Legends.
Image via Respawn/EA.

At a Glance

  • EA is spending hundreds of millions to cut staff and kill projects in an effort to save money by the end of 2024.

Staff at Respawn Entertainment are reporting layoffs, which stem from the reductions announced by parent company EA in late February. Per IGN, 23 people were overall affected.

EA is spending $125-$165 million overall to cut 5 percent of its workforce (670 people) across its studios. This "restructuring plan" is expected to wrap up by the end of 2024.

Some of Respawn's losses were targeted at the Apex Legends team. Alex Ackerman, a social media lead for the popular shooter, revealed she was "made redundant" by the company.

"After 20 Seasons of Apex and five years at Respawn nearly to the day...I have been laid off," she wrote. "Working on this game and supporting this community has truly been the honor of my career and a highlight of my life."

"It sucks seeing some of the people I've worked with for almost 3 years now get let go," added level designer Aaron Stump. "Hopefully, they land on their feet sooner rather than later."

During its recent earnings call, CFO Stuart Canfield indicated Apex missed projections, but was on a potential upswing with its Final Fantasy VII crossover. CEO Andrew Wilson backed that up in a Q&A, saying it performed "extremely well."

For the current fourth quarter, EA is taking a "measured approach," but it sounds like it's maintaining faith in the game (and Respawn) overall.

That said, Respawn hasn't been exempt from EA's other business choices. Along with the layoffs, the studio had to cancel its unannounced first-person Star Wars game, and will now focus on the third Star Wars Jedi entry.

Bit Reactor's unannounced Star Wars strategy game, which is being produced by Respawn, is still on the docket for release.

Last week, Wilson said Apex would grow "beyond the traditional battle royale experience." That is (apparently) happening this year, but it's unclear as to what that means, considering EA canceled a single-player Apex Legends game last year.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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