Something needs to change in the current video game industry. Though layoffs are a part of the "real world," the gaming community has been hit with an outstanding amount of layoffs in recent years despite the massive amount of growth this industry has seen. Following the news of the shockingly massive Activision Blizzard layoffs - and now Guild Wars 2 studio ArenaNet - EA's Australian studio 'FireMonkeys' is the latest company to be negatively impacted by poor executive decisions.
FireMonkeys was first established back in 2012, a result of a merger between IronMonkey and FireMint. It's also one of the largest and most established development studios in Australia, making the news of layoffs appear seemingly out of left field.
With their most recent project Real Racing 4 having been reportedly cancelled last week, EA has been busy "reorganizing" the studio under new management standards. Unfortunately, that reorganization came with layoffs, a move that was made known to the employees affected prior to this article being written.
“No idea how certain tasks will be done at all if I look at who got let go,” said one employee in a statement to Kotaku. Following up, EA also released their own statement regarding the layoffs, though kept mum about the racing game's alleged cancellation:
The FireMonkeys studio is working on some of our most popular mobile games. We recently made a decision to shift teams to focus more on our live services, and have entered into a consultation period that may impact some roles in the studio. We’re working to match skills with opportunities as we go through this period, identifying other opportunities at EA, and providing as much help to our employees as we possibly can.
According to Game Workers Unite, it looks like 10% of the studio has been affected by these layoffs, making the move detrimental to both the future of the studio and current moral.
Suddenly coming face-to-face with potentially losing a job one has worked so hard for, it's never an easy position to be in, especially given how grueling the work can be at times. Developers have a passion for their creations that make the long-hours and social media onslaughts worth it and to see that suddenly change is heartbreaking.
Our hearts are with those affected.0comments
Also, it's time to unionize.