EA Austin has been met with layoffs following the news that EA and Fifa are splitting ways. According to Kotaku, this primarily affects the customer service staff at the studio.
Approximately 100 employees that supported live operations for Fifa 22 are being let go from EA Austin. Kotaku’s Ethan Gach mentions that the support role will now be outsourced.
Electronic Arts responded in a statement to Kotaku. Joel Knutson, VP of customer experience at EA, said that “in order to reduce complexity and increase our efficiency, flexibility, and scalability,” roles at EA Austin would be eliminated. “We continuously evolve to deliver better experiences for our fans and are improving our support model.”
An additional rep from EA added the following:
“The changes in our customer support function are not tied to any one gaming franchise, nor are they connected to our EA SPORTS FC announcement last week. The customer support function support a wide range of player questions pertaining to our gaming titles, technology, including Origin or our EA Play subscription service.”
According to an email obtained by Kotaku, ten new customer service jobs are being added. Laid-off employees are eligible to apply for them.
If you ask me, the timing between departing from the Fifa partnership and letting go EA Austin members in charge of customer service for the Fifa franchise seems a little suspicious. Kotaku’s source mentioned that the decision “came after repeated complaints by EA Austin and Galway staff of insufficient annual raises consisting of as little as $0.10 hourly. ” Rather than give people appropriate raises, EA seemingly decided to lay everyone off and outsource the work at a (presumably) lower hourly rate.
By the way: Electronic Arts said last week that their Q4 net revenues were up 48% year to year. But, you know, couldn’t afford to give out proper raises.