Up to 100 customer service workers at EA's Austin studio may be made redundant, with more in line at EA's Galway customer service office in Ireland, according to internal emails obtained by Kotaku (opens in new tab) this week.
The layoffs reportedly come in the wake of the publisher's split with FIFA (opens in new tab), and an executive rethink as to how EA supports its sports franchise going forwards. Many of the jobs facing the axe worked in supporting live operations for FIFA '22, but it sounds like EA wants to outsource that work going forwards.
In an email, VP of customer experience Joel Knutson told staff that EA Austin would face redundancies "in order to reduce complexity and increase our efficiency, flexibility and scalability," before "proposing redundancy" at EA Galway.
Sources told Kotaku that the bulk of the work consists of chat support for FIFA 22, though an EA representative told the outlet that the "changes" being made in customer support had nothing to do with any particular franchise, nor the EA Sports FC announcement last week. That same source noted that this move comes after repeated complaints of poor annual raises of as little as $0.10 per hour.
"We’re always thinking about how we improve our player experience, and this includes reviewing how we can best provide the support they may need to enjoy them fully," EA's Charles Fortescue told Kotaku. "With this in mind we have proposed some changes in our customer support function to give more flexibility and allow us to help players when they need it most. As part of this process we are considering changing a number of roles within the team, closing some roles and also creating new ones. We are working closely with our people throughout this process and are providing support to anyone whose role is impacted."
Internal emails noted that 10 new customer support roles have been created for mobile, and redundant staff can feel free to apply. In a statement to PC Gamer, an EA spokesperson clarified that the customer support changes "are not tied to any one gaming franchise, nor are they connected to our EA SPORTS FC announcement last week. The customer support function supports a wide range of player questions pertaining to our gaming titles, technology including Origin, and our EA Play subscription service."
This story has been updated with a statement from EA.