Layoffs hit Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment

In what appears to be a continuing cycle of layoffs in the gaming industry, Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment... Paolo | 17. March 2024

In what appears to be a continuing cycle of layoffs in the gaming industry, Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment is the latest to be hit.

EA and Respawn have not yet officially confirmed the said layoffs, but former staff have already posted about the said news.

Apex Legends senior writer tweeted, “Rough day at EA. Rough day at Respawn.”

He added, “Although I’m thankful to be safe, my thoughts are with everyone affected by the ongoing layoffs, and if there’s any way I can help or signal boost, I will do. It’s really hard to find the energy and joy to make games in this environment.”

Level designer Aaron Stump tweeted, “It sucks seeing some of the people I’ve worked with for almost three years now get let go.”

Eurogamer reported that these may be part of the 670 job cuts that Electonic Arts announced last month, with EA CEO Andrew Wilson saying the layoff process may continue up until early next quarter.

In a memo issued to employees last February, Wilson said, “We are also sunsetting games and moving away from development of future licensed IP that we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry. This greater focus allows us to drive creativity, accelerate innovation, and double down on our biggest opportunities — including our owned IP, sports, and massive online communities — to deliver the entertainment players want today and tomorrow.”

The move, Wilson said, is to streamline company operations “to deliver deeper, more connected experiences for fans everywhere that build community, shape culture, and grow fandom.”

Layoffs are expected to last up until early of Q2 2024, according to Wilson’s statement.

Eurogamer also reported that Laura Miele, president of EA Entertainment and Technology, revealed that this shift has resulted in the cancellation of Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars FPS game.

Additionally, Eurogamer reported that Miele announced EA will be “winding down” Ridgeline Games, whose single-player Battlefield game will now be handled by Criterion.

The said move is seen as a continuation of the 2024 “esports winter,” with Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, ESL Faceit, and other related companies also laying off employees.