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EA lays off hundreds of QA workers from Baton Rouge office

The entire QA team at EA's Baton Rouge office was reportedly let go without warning.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

February 28, 2023

2 Min Read
Season art for Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends featuring Catalyst.

Publisher Electronic Arts laid off the full QA team in its Baton Rouge, LA office. Per Kotaku, that amounts to hundreds of employees, all of whom were contractors at work on Respawn's Apex Legends. The number of laid off staff is believed to be around 300 workers.

The layoffs reportedly took place over a surprise Zoom call. Anonymous sources speaking to Kotaku explained that the Baton Rouge's full-time supervisors weren't told about the layoffs ahead of time. 

EA's Baton Rouge team has served as a QA hub across multiple games for years, but in recent years has primarily helped with Apex Legends. Affected employees will be given 60 days severance, though those same sources allege that package won't completely cover the contracts of those laid off. 

In May 2022, EA laid off its customer service staff that operated in Austin, TX. Like the Baton Rouge team, the layoffs at Austin affected over 100 workers.

2023 is already a bad year for layoffs

At the start of February, EA killed both Apex Legends' mobile spinoff and a single-player title for the popular shooter that was in development at Respawn.

Beyond this new string of layoffs, other studios such as Riot, Unity, and Microsoft have laid off their own employees. In January, Microsoft cut 10,000 workers from its entire workforce, which much of those cuts affecting first-party studios such as 343 Industries and Bethesda.

Last week, it was reported that Meta is planning to conduct even more layoffs. Towards the end of 2022, the tech giant cut 11,000 staffers in order to "become a leaner and more efficient company."

Update: Kotaku updated its report on the Baton Rouge layoffs, and this post has been updated to reflect that additional information. 

An EA representative later told Kotaku that testing for Apex Legends would be spread out to other teams across the company. 

"Our global team, inclusive of remote playtesters across the U.S., enables us to increase the hours per week we’re able to test and optimize the game and reflects a commitment to understand and better serve our growing community around the world," EA wrote. 

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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