EA confirmed the layoffs Thursday in its corporate blog, but declined to put a number on how many employees were affected. Sources within the company say the cutbacks were significant, though were lower than some media reports, which placed the number at 1,000 or higher.
The beleaguered game maker run by former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling abruptly laid off all of its employees, effective immediately. Insiders at the company say they also learned their health insurance will run out at midnight.
205 of the roughly 700 SOE employees received pink slips Thursday as the company shut down three development studios in Denver, Seattle and Tucson. One long-in-development title was also cancelled.
SOE was hit hard by a devastating round of downsizing that resulted in one-third of the workforce being laid off and three studios closed. THQ cut more than 30 jobs at two of its studios, but both remain open.
The company has closed three development studios and laid off 205 of its roughly 700 employees amid growing competition in the space and the increasing number of alternate gaming platforms, such as the iPhone and Facebook.
We certainly have no problem getting caught up in the fun of playing games, but the people who create them have their pocketbooks to worry about, too. In this column, finance expert and GameSpy contributor Chris Morris guides you through the tricky corridors the gaming industry’s financial side, touching on big-time business decisions and how they matter to the common gamer.
Disneyland might be the happiest place on Earth, but at the game development studios of the theme park’s parent company… well, that’s a different story. Sweeping changes are underway at the studio behind Split/Second and Epic Mickey, as new management takes over and the company’s focus shifts. It’s a harsh reality of business — but it’s a frustrating one for gamers, since after years of struggling as an also-ran in the gaming world, Disney was finally showing some promise.
The situation at the so-called “Mouse House” is pretty grim for traditional game-makers. In late January 2011, hundreds were laid off in an ugly bloodletting at Disney Interactive Studios (DIS) and Disney’s Interactive Media Group (DIMG). And the terse statement that was released by the company hinted that another round could be on the way.
Cco-president John Pleasants and James Pitaro, speaking at an investors conference this week, said they plan to reduce operating costs by another 25 percent before they’re through cutting. They did not detail how they plan to do that, but most workers feel like the axe is still hovering over their heads.
Disney declined to give the number of people affected, but Mouse House insiders said as many as half of Disney Interactive Studios’ 700 staffers may have been cut.
Disney declined to give a number of people affected, but speaking off the record, people who were affected by the move said it could be as much as half of Disney Interactive Studios. Several vice presidents and directors were among those cut. (Variety has been unable to verify the exact count.)
The company declined to comment on the layoffs or disclose how many people were affected by the move, but some insiders said the number could be nearly half of the 700-person division.