Electronic Arts is one of the biggest names in video games in the world, and the second-largest video games company in North America. Most notably EA is the publisher connected to National professional and collegiate sports (NFL, NCAA, NBA, etc), but its most recent release of Apex Legends has been a resounding success.
But even as a big and successful as they are, the game company has announced the decision to lay off about 350 people across several departments. This is just the latest move in what has been quite a brutal year for the whole of the gaming industry. Actually, Activision-Blizzard (the largest video game company in North America), laid off 800 employees in February.
Both EA and Activision-Blizzard posted less-than-stellar earnings for the 2018 holiday season, which is an important time of the year for all retailers, but a peak season for video game companies. Sure, EA may have reported an overall 10 percent increase year over year in net revenue, last quarter, but the company still lowered its annual revenue expectatiosn from $5.15 billion to $4.875.
In a statement about the decision, EA boss Andrew Wilson comments, “We have a vision to be the World’s Greatest Game Company. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’re not there right now. We have work to do with our games, our player relationships, and our business.”
Wilson notes that the California-based company’s goal right now is to streamline its decision-making process in the marketing and publishing departments, after some consolidation steps they took last year. This will help improve customer support and also change some of the company’s international strategies (which includes closing its Japan and Russia offices).
He also goes on to say, “Across the company, teams are already taking action to ensure we are creating higher quality games and live services, reaching more platforms with our content and subscriptions, improving our Frostbite tools, focusing our network and cloud gaming priorities, and closing the gap between us and our player communities.”
Wilson puts some of the blame for the disappointing numbers on the release delay of the highly-anticipated “Battlefield V.” And even though the widespread success of the free-to-play “Apex Legends” has already gathered 50 million players, the problematic launch of another highly-anticipated title, “Anthem,” demonstrates the company’s continued struggle with full-price, heavy-hitting releases.