Los Angeles Business Journal

EA Cuts L.A. Staff

By Natalie Jarvey Originally published February 22, 2013 at 11:33 a.m., updated February 22, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.

Electronic Arts Inc. announced late Thursday that it has laid off some of its employees in Los Angeles.

The news came in a blog post from Frank Gibeau, president of EA Labels. The Redwood City company also said employees in Montreal and a few other locations were let go.

Gibeau cited changing technology as the reason for the layoffs.

Sony on Wednesday announced its new console, PlayStation 4. EA has had to transition to develop games for the new console. In addition, the company has begun putting greater emphasis on mobile games.

“EA’s leadership on these high-growth platforms allows us to retain and attract the industry’s best talent,” Gibeau wrote on EA blog The Beat. “Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations.”

EA did not respond to a request for comment.

Like many video game companies, EA has struggled to transition to digital gaming. Last month it reported a decline in revenue for its fiscal third quarter and lowered its guidance for the full fiscal year.

It is unclear how many people EA employs in Los Angeles, but the video game publisher occupies nearly 147,000 square feet in two Playa Vista buildings, according to CoStar Group Inc.

The EA campus in Los Angeles is the global headquarters for the company’s interactive division, including mobile and social networking games, and its music division, which creates and markets music games. Los Angeles is also home to EA studios Victory Games and Danger Close.

EA has given the laid-off employees severance packages and offered them outplacement services, according to Gibeau.

UPDATE: An EA spokesman said the company is not disclosing specifics about the layoffs. He also would not say how many people EA employs in Los Angeles, but said the company has 9,000 employees worldwide.

The company released this statement regarding the layoffs:

“Today EA internally announced some adjustments to select development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth areas, including new technologies and mobile. Many employees are being retrained for new positions; however a small number will be released. These are great, talented people and we wish them well. EA is growing globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year.”