EA Montreal Lays Off Around 170 Employees

Lee Bradley

EA has laid off nearly two thirds of the staff at its Montreal studio, following the release of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. Around 170 employees are thought to have lost their jobs.

The move comes shortly after ex-CEO John Riccitiello’s resignation due to the company’s financial struggles and EA’s nod as the worst employer in the United States for the second year running.

“These are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA. Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world,” said the publisher.

EA Montreal has received substantial investment from the Canadian government over the years, but the lackluster performance of games like its Army of Two series effectively ended the studio.

However, according to reports, a chunk of the lay-offs came in EA Montreal’s mobile division, a revelation that has come as a shock to many as the mobile games industry is currently flourishing.

"If you walk through the office all you see is a bunch of already cleared out desks, and people cleaning out their desks," a source told Joystiq.

Best of luck to all those affected.

  • Ok so wait, these people make this brand new game, which I honestly have seen reviews of whither or not it is bad or good, and get canned. Can we say that EA is trying to maximize their profits so that way while the game is selling that is about 170 different payrolls they don't have to pay...
  • Before all the people come in saying "Haha they deserve it for working for EA!" or celebrate the fact that EA are struggling in some areas, pleae think of the 170 people who have lost their jobs in this difficult time.
  • Alot of companies seem to be doing this lately , they get a developer to make a game then pretty much lay off half the staff or worse shut them down . To all the big companies EA , CAPCOM , SQUARE ENIX , ACTIVISION please go back to old business models and start using old well known ip's instead of completely ruining others and then giving the developer the blame .
  • I couldn't care less about Army of 2 or anything made by EA for that matter. What a horrible company.
  • @1 I do care about the Game Designers I don't care about those business men.
  • @3: If you think about it, it's a pretty smart business decision: You run the DLC development and post-release maintenance with a core staff and shave of the unused manpower. When you greenlight a new project, you hire them back again. Interesting to see lay offs in the mobile sector. Can we assume the market is saturated right now and the focus shifts back to core games with the next gen around the corner?
  • Their in a better place now.
  • Looks like EA already started to do efforts to win a third "Worst company of America" title!
  • This really sucks for those guys; but if they are talented, they will find more work :)
  • This is becoming a habit of EA's, downsizing a studio once it's finished a game. IMO they are trying to manipulate the skilled employment market so that instead of having to keep on permanent staff they use temporary, fixed-term contracts. It's the same in the unskilled industries, temp agencies have made it too easy for firms to just hire in cheap temps and then drop them as soon as things go quiet. @6 It's only a smart decision in terms of payroll, in the longer term game quality will decrease (yes, even further) as teams of contractors never integrate as well as permanent teams and rarely feel any job/product ownership. This will lead to loss in customer satisfaction (how low can it possibly go?) and thus a loss of sales, then more downsizing etc. The good side of this is that EA will slowly fold or move away from games... which is good news for EVERYBODY!! :))
  • Wow i hope compnays i love like dice and bioware never have bad sells hate to see them go and i hope someone picks up these 170 people and lastly this is why im glad ea doesnt own rockstar volition etc.
  • @7 Yeah, because the unemployment line is SO much better than having a job for the biggest gaming company in the world. *facepalm*
  • This has been on the cards for ages.
  • @12 they obviously have skills so it wouldn't be as hard to find another job than someone that doesn't have any skills, plus they probably got a good bit of money to fall back on for a while. So *facepalm* yourself.
  • and EA wonders why it won worst company awards >_>
  • @14 I don't know if you've noticed, but the games industry isn't hiring. They're firing, downsizing and laying off. So, like I said, they were in a better place when they had jobs. "They probably got a good bit of money to fall back on." Yeah. I'm sure they all made millions being one of 170 workers at EA Montreal. My guess is that they're probably not comforted by your assurances of financial stability. My thoughts go out to them and their families that are no doubt struggling now. Hope for better days soon!
  • @2 right on brother
  • They should have tried a new IP instead of making 2 sequels for a lackluster game which got worse and worse.
  • So EA hired employees to increase their chance to have a grant from the government - get the grant - & lay off the employees ("worst employer for a 2nd straigh year") & instead of listening to the players that support their games (ex: Army of Two), publish a game that fail on the way side (compare to the first 2) (there is no wondering here EA, not only are you the worst employer (sorry for the employees that lost their job) but you are also full of yourself!) so EA you either go & re-build your credibility (re-hire the employees & publish decent games) OR close your door! no pity for the wicked
  • I know I'm a bit late, but this doesn't have a name. I just hope two things: that the Army of Two license won't be affected and we might see some new (and better than the third one) games, and that those employees get a job with a good publisher (maybe 2K, I don't know) Oh, and if you say anything bad about the first two Ao2 games, you deserve to be slapped with your own wallet so it'll have a good use for once.
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