According to multiple reports, 60 developers at Electronic Arts' Los Angeles studio were let go today in a restructuring-related layoff. The staff members were pulled from the various projects at the LA offices, rather than being confined to one or two specific teams; Neil Young, overseer of the LA studio, was careful in his statement to dispel the rumor that the layoffs were related to sales performance of EA LA's GoldenEye
title in late 2004.
"It has nothing to do with GoldenEye
or titles we've shipped in the past and a lot more to do with where we want to take this studio in the future," said Young in a statement to consumer site 1UP.com. Instead, Young emphasized the need to reconsider the amount of staff employed as the overall company prepares for next-generation systems, such as the successor to the Xbox expected to be unveiled soon. "It's a studio-wide thing to reset the business fundamentals and get the studio to the next level."
Whether this return to "fundamentals" means the cutbacks at the LA offices will soon be replicated in EA's other studios such as Canada, Tiburon, and Redwood Shores, was left unsaid. However, the LA studios have hardly been gutted, with 320 staffers remaining to continue the EA Trax, EA Publishing, and EA mobile gaming divisions in addition to console development.