Electronic Arts Lays off 10 Percent Of Workforce; Will It Impact The Star Wars Franchise?

By Binu Paul , Updated May 08, 2013 10:40 AM EDT
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Electronic Arts was in the news for undertaking several rounds of layoffs involving a number of studios across the globe. The many rounds of layoffs have apparently totalled about 10 percent of its global workforce.

The layoffs will apparently cost the company nearly $16 million, the amount EA is expected to pay in severance costs related to layoffs, Gamespot reports. The FIFA and Battlefield publisher's global headcount is now estimated to be around 8,400. EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen revealed these details on Tuesday during a post-earnings financial call.

As EA has let go its 10 percent of workforce and its chief executive John Riccitiello,  it remains to be seen if the company can meet the huge challenge of making games for the legendary Star Wars franchise. Earlier this week, EA inked a deal with Walt Disney to be the exclusive publisher and developer of Star Wars games for the foreseeable future.

"A source familiar with the matter said that Disney wanted EA to buy LucasArts, the game division of Lucasfilm, which it had acquired from George Lucas in October. But after mixed results with big acquisitions such as PopCap Games, EA's appetite for big deals was limited. So Disney decided to shut down LucasArts and then license the rights for Star Wars games to EA. However, EA chose not to pick up LucasArts' major work in progress, Star Wars 1313, which has been cancelled," Venture Beat reports.

The recent layoffs leaves EA down around 1,000 employees or so, meaning it would be a herculean task for the company to take up the Star Wars franchise. The company is rumored to be hiring former LucasArts employees in case of a severe shortage of staff. In addition, Frank Gibeau, the executive vice president of EA Labels, stated that developers at DICE, Visceral, and BioWare are going to work on the EA Star Wars games.  This leaves the distinct impression of the developer cancelling some other games, which EA has yet to comment on.

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