Electronic Arts fires more than 200 Apex Legends testers for Zoom
According to the latest industry reports, Electronic Arts has laid off more than 200 employees tied to your game Apex Legends. Specifically, it is said that more than 200 QC testers at the Electronic Arts office in Baton Rouge, Los Angeles, were fired during a surprise Zoom call earlier today.
Sources familiar with this call revealed to Kotaku that they were all primarily working on Apex Legends, the battle royale-themed shooter being developed by Respawn Entertainment. All these testers were invited to an unscheduled mandatory meeting through the Zoom application. All employees were encouraged to join from their smartphone or personal computer. According to three sources, who wish to remain anonymous, the management of the Baton Rouge studio laid off all test staff.
Interestingly, the Apex Legends numbers did not herald any layoffs
Thanks to Steam Charts, we know that in the last 24 hours, Apex Legends has amassed up to 542,035 peak players. This number is quite relevant, and even more so if we know that the player record is 624,473and it was achieved this same month of February. Specifically, February will close with 253,699 simultaneous players on average, this represents a growth of 28.15% compared to the month of January (197,969 players on average).
With these numbers, the last thing workers could imagine is that they would be fired. And furthermore, the entire QA division is expressly focused on this game.
“The news apparently came as a shock not only to those laid off, but also to full-time supervisors. They were not informed in advance or given time to prepare. Those affected were apparently only allowed to pick up their personal belongings from the office under security supervision. They will receive 60-day severance, although that amount will not cover the duration of many people’s contracts,” the sources said.
Electronic Arts cuts come from afar
These layoffs occur a month after EA canceled mobile spin-off Apex Legends, as well as a Battlefield mobile game that was in development. For these games, EA bought the Industrial Toys studio in 2018, and it was closed due to the fact that they were not useful to them in the end.
Last year, the publisher of FIFA and Madden also cut significantly your customer service teams in Austin, the capital of Texas. Those laid off were tasked with helping players with problems with broken microtransactions and regaining control of hacked accounts. To continue giving support, outsourced to suppliers in Europe and India.
Although the Baton Rouge office previously provided QA support for many different EA-published games, it began helping with Apex Legends prior to its release in 2019. Now of course, everyone is wondering what will happen to the quality tests in the near future. It is indicated that the Baton Rouge team had accumulated a wealth of experience and training in recent years. In this way, the logical thing is that the users themselves end up acting as testers.