EA just went through a massive round of layoffs, though this time it was limited to the publisher’s Melbourne-based FireMonkeys studio. No numbers were officially given, but it’s understood that somewhere between 40 to 50 staffers were let go. At this time, no other branch at EA is expected to lose staff.
FireMonkeys is a mobile-centric studio, known for the Real Racing series and titles like The Sims FreePlay. It was formed after the merger of IronMonkey Studios and FireMint. The studio was working on Real Racer 4, though that title has reportedly been canceled.
The studio was notified of the layoffs earlier in the week. Affected people were given the news in individual meetings, while the rest learned of the layoffs in a group meeting. The decision came after it was decided to reorganize staff across the numerous mobile titles EA has. EA has yet to confirm the cancellation of Real Racing 4, though a statement did say FireMonkeys would begin to focus “more on our live services.”
FireMonkeys is seen as the largest mobile game developer in Australia. The Australian branch of Game Workers Unite estimate that the layoffs equal 10% of the game development industry in Australia. The layoffs were first thought to be around 80 to 100 people, though it appears the actual number is much lower.
Unfortunately, these are only the latest layoffs to effect the games industry. Just last week, Activision Blizzard announced it was laying off around 800 staffers across its various divisions. And towards the end of 2018, Telltale Games announced its shock closure, and the loss of jobs that resulted.