Electronic Arts has reportedly laid off over 200 Apex Legends QA testers out of the blue. The initial report claimed that 100 testers were let go, but that number has since been corrected to state that over 200 were dismissed. An EA spokesperson has since provided a statement on the matter.
According to three Kotaku sources, EA held an unscheduled Zoom meeting early yesterday morning to confirm that it was laying off over 200 QA testers for Respawn Entertainment’s popular battle royale, Apex Legends. Impacted employees were apparently given 60 days severance, which is less than the length of many of their contracts.
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An EA spokesperson told Kotaku that the company was ending testing execution in Baton Rouge, Louisiana so that it can expand the distribution of its Apex Legends testing team:
“Testing games is an integral part of delivering the best experiences for our players. As part of our ongoing global strategy, we are expanding the distribution of our Apex Legends testing team and ending testing execution that’s been concentrated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, impacting services provided by our third-party provider. Our global team, inclusive of remote playtesters across the U.S., enables us to increase the hours per week we’re able to test and optimize the game and reflects a commitment to understand and better serve our growing community around the world.”
The employees were reportedly informed that they could collect their belongings from the offices but only when escorted by security.
The news follows EA’s closure of Apex Legends Mobile as well as cancelling the development of Battlefield Mobile before its release. The company also reportedly cancelled an unannounced Titanfall game that was originally planned as a single-player experience for Apex Legends. As you can imagine, this was not taken positively by the community which criticised EA for its actions.