Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Video game titan Electronic Arts to lay off more staff


Electronic Arts (EA) on Thursday said that more layoffs were in store at the console video game titan, as it adapts to the popularity of play on smartphones, tablet computers and online social networks.

“In recent weeks, EA has aligned all elements of its organizational structure behind priorities in new technologies and mobile,” the California-based company said in a blog post.

“This has led to some difficult decisions to reduce the workforce in some locations,” it said.

The company referred to the latest round of layoffs as “hard but essential changes.”

It did not specify the number of workers being let go, but video game news Web site Kotaku cited unnamed sources as saying the company would cut employee ranks by 10 percent.

Last month, Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello stepped down.

EA veteran Larry Probst was appointed to lead the firm’s executive team, while the board of directors searches for a replacement for Riccitiello, whose tenure as chief executive began in 2007.

EA is among the longtime video game industry companies striving to adapt to an industry being transformed by the popularity of free play on smartphones, tablet computers and online social networks.

While announcing Riccitiello’s departure, the company warned investors that its earnings for the quarter could be slightly lower than estimates provided at the end of January. EA is to report its quarterly earnings on May 7.

Last week, EA announced that it would “retire” some Facebook games that seem to have fallen out of favor with players at the leading social network.

EA said that The Sims Social, SimCity Social and Pet Society will be taken offline on June 14.

“After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off,” EA said in a release.

EA continues to make games for use on Facebook, with upcoming releases including Bejeweled, Solitaire and Plants vs Zombies from its PopCap studio.

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