Things aren’t all that great for EA. In fact, Electronic Arts is reportedly laying off many customer service staffers in its Austin office. According to sources that spoke with Kotaku, as many as 100 employees could be affected by this decision.
This report comes just days after EA had officially terminated its licensing agreement with FIFA. The source said that many of the people impacted by this move supported live operations for FIFA 22. Now, EA is expected to outsource this work.
“The news came as a real shock for everyone at Galway,” an unnamed employee told Kotaku. “We suspect it’s an accumulation of several internal problems and to simply to save money.”
“We’re always thinking about how we improve our player experience, and this includes reviewing how we can best provide the support they may need to enjoy them fully,” said EA spokesperson Charlie Fortescue in a statement to Kotaku. “With this in mind, we have proposed some changes in our customer support function to give more flexibility and allow us to help players when they need it most. As part of this process, we are considering changing a number of roles within the team, closing some roles, and also creating new ones. We are working closely with our people throughout this process and are providing support to anyone whose role is impacted.”
According to the email received by Kotaku, 10 new customer service jobs supporting mobile games have been created for the company. Laid-off employees are welcome to apply for these positions.
The Profit‘s Take:
Obviously, lay-offs are never a good thing. EA said that it’s planning on making another soccer game. If that’s the case, why eliminate customer service staffers? My guess: they truly believe that there is going to be a huge drop-off when it comes to their soccer business (without FIFA). They must believe their new game will not be well-received at all.
(All information was provided by Kotaku)
In what way is laying off staff you don’t need a bad thing? You might realize that valuations often go UP when layoffs are announced because the way worse policy is to retain staff you don’t need. Laying them off is a good thing.
And before anybody accuses me of being heartless, let me point out that these are customer service jobs. The employees being laid off may very well find this an opportunity to get a better job. Or to easily more to another customer service post somewhere else. Austin is filled with such opportunities.
It’s a bad thing if the customer experience suffers. In the short-term, cutting costs may help the stock price, but the long-term repercussions of unhappy customers are often underestimated.