With Electronic Arts about to cut ties complete with FIFA after the final game in their partnership comes out, it seems as though the company is tightening its belt to save a few bucks. A recent round of layoffs out around 100 customer service employees in Austin out of a job and more layoffs are likely coming to EA’s Galway, Ireland office immediately following announcement of the FIFA partnership ending.
The recent layoffs at EA Austin and possible upcoming ones at EA Galway were recently reported by Kotaku, who was in contact with EA as well as sources familiar with the situation. EA VP of customer experience Joel Knutson suggested that the layoffs were simply part of an effort to tighten and improve the company’s customer service system.
“We continuously evolve to deliver better experiences for our fans and are improving our support model,” Joel said in a staff email obtained by Kotaku. “In order to reduce complexity and increase our efficiency, flexibility and scalability.”
Reportedly, this effort for “efficiency” also includes “proposing redundancy” for similar customer service offices at EA Galway.
Electronic Arts would go on to claim that the layoffs were not tied to any one particular franchise or decision, but continued to stress that the move was part of an effort to streamline various aspects of the customer service experience, as shared in a statement by EA spokesperson Charlie Fortescue:
Nonetheless, sources familiar with the situation also stated that the jobs laid off mainly worked on chat, email, and phone support prominently for games like FIFA 22, including issues with microtransactions. Those sources also suggested this job could be outsourced. While EA claims the layoffs and its ending relationship with FIFA are unrelated, it’s a very close and interesting set of events as the company prepares to shift its soccer game branding to EA Sports FC in 2023. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.