After A week of rumour and speculation, EA has said that its move to Chertsey is not a headcount-cutting exercise” – yet industry chatter points toward significant cuts in the publisher's studio operations.
MCV revealed last week that CEO John Riccitiello's plan to split the company into four divisions (EA Games, EA Sports, Casual Games and The Sims) would bring about a substantial shake-up – and the first stage of that has seen EA move its staff to make the Guildford office the UK hub.
EA has stated that 350 jobs will be cut across the business worldwide – but many within the company's mammoth development operation are expecting further job cuts.
An EA insider told MCV this week: The biggest cuts in Chertsey seem to be to the milkman and building. We are pretty much all off to Guildford – bar a tiny handful. It was a botched way to handle the news, I thought. I understand most of the cuts are in studios – yet Chertsey was singled out, despite the UK publishing team leading the way of Electronic Arts Europe.”
An EA spokesperson responded: We have closed the Chertsey building and all it means is that Guildford becomes the hub for EA's business in the UK. Everybody in Chertsey will be housed in the Guildford office in future.
Job cuts will be very minimal – this is not a headcount-cutting exercise, it is a move to a different building. It is just costly and unnecessary to have two offices so close to each other.
We're making a number of changes within the business, and within that around 350 jobs will be cut across our operations worldwide. We are unable to break down where these might be at this time, but they are across a mix of areas within the business.”