Not less than Star Wars Jedi 3 is secure (Credit: AP)

Not solely has EA laid off 5% of its workforce but it surely’s giving up on licensed video games usually, though Star Wars Jedi 3 will proceed.

Just a few days in the past PlayStation laid off 900 staff and now EA has joined (or slightly rejoined) the disturbingly lengthy checklist of publishers which have reduce big numbers of builders from their numerous studios, with 670 individuals dropping their jobs this week. That quantities to five% of its workers and comes after EA already laid off 6% of its workforce final March.

It’s a sadly acquainted story by now, however EA’s state of affairs is totally different in that it’s at the very least partially defined why. Or slightly said that it’s present process a change of course, that can see it shifting away from licensed video games and specializing in its core franchises.

The implication is that this additionally means focusing extra on reside service video games, as EA cancels its first individual shooter Star Wars mission at Respawn and pronounces the closure of single-player Battlefield studio Ridgeline Video games.

Little is understood in regards to the Star Wars mission, besides that it took some inspiration from the just lately remastered Dark Forces and was rumoured to be based on The Mandalorian.

Respawn had a number of Star Wars video games in improvement, together with a method sport by third social gathering developer Bit Reactor, but it surely’s unclear what its destiny may be, particularly because it’s by no means been proven in public.

Nonetheless, the third, and presumably final, entry in the Star Wars Jedi series, is confirmed to nonetheless be going forward, regardless of the change in course and the exit of collection creator Stig Asmussen.

EA has flip-flopped backwards and forwards on single-player video games a number of instances in its historical past, its most up-to-date interval of scepticism being damaged by the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in 2019.

Regardless of the Iron Man sport is, it’s nonetheless taking place (Image: EA)

That led to them signing offers with Marvel to make Iron Man and Black Panther games, neither of which have been demonstrated in public thus far. A 3rd, unknown, Marvel sport was additionally introduced when EA first gained the licence however has by no means been talked about once more since.

There could also be contractual the reason why they should proceed with Marvel, and among the Star Wars video games, however though EA has stated they received’t break their reference to Disney completely it’s unclear whether or not there’ll be any extra single-player video games after the present slate of tasks is accomplished.

Though EA’s place on single-player video games appears to be comparatively fluid, EA CEO Andrew Wilson has said that they’re positively ‘shifting away from the event of future licensed IP.’

In line with IGN, the corporate’s focus will now be on EA Sports activities (which, satirically, is very depending on licences), Apex Legends, Star Wars Jedi, Iron Man, Black Panther, Battlefield, Want For Pace, Dragon Age, Mass Impact, Skate, and The Sims.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor – will its sequel be EA’s final Star Wars sport? (Image: EA)

This creates some complicated messaging, with no rationalization of why Star Wars Jedi 3 is smart for EA however the unnamed first individual shooter sport doesn’t – particularly if it was primarily based on The Mandalorian. It’s additionally stunning that, given the franchise’s poor observe document with story campaigns, the single-player Battlefield sport hasn’t been cancelled however moved to developer Criterion Video games.

As with latest layoffs at different publishers, EA’s CEO has been extraordinarily imprecise as to why these layoffs are crucial, taking about, ‘an accelerating trade transformation the place participant wants and motivations have modified considerably. Followers are more and more participating with the most important IP, and trying to us for broader experiences the place they will play, watch, create content material, and forge deeper connections.’

At no level does he state what these adjustments are or why, if persons are drawn to ‘the most important IP’, they’ve determined to maneuver means from licensing issues like Star Wars and Marvel (the excessive value of these licences and Disney taking a reduce off the income is, little question, the rationale).

‘We’re streamlining our firm operations to ship deeper, extra linked experiences for followers in every single place that construct group, form tradition, and develop fandom’, added Wilson.

He additionally emphasised a give attention to ‘large on-line communities’ and their present line-up of titles, lots of that are reside service already.

As is the case for many of those firms EA is presently in no monetary problem, with its latest monetary outcomes – which cowl the all-important Christmas interval – seeing revenues rise by 7% to $2.37 billion.

Black Panther online game teaser picture (Image: EA)

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