Back in 2012 two studios under Electronic Arts — FireMint and IronMonkey — merged together to make FireMonkeys. The studio in question mainly focuses on mobile games such as Real Racing 3, The Sims FreePlay, and Need for Speed: No Limits. As of now, it looks like big papa EA is looking to make more money by laying off a majority of staff at FireMonkeys and focusing on live service-related content moving forward.
According to publication website gamesindustry.biz, FireMonkeys is reported to refocus its endeavors on live service titles and content. It is unclear as of this writing if work on Real Racing 4 has been canceled, but what is known is that live service is now the main focus for the studio.
The website cites an EA spokesperson confirming the layoffs in a statement, which reads:
“The FireMonkeys studio is working on some of our most popular mobile games. We recently made a decision to shift teams to focus more on our live services, and have entered a consultation period that may impact some roles in the studio.
We’re working to match skills with opportunities as we go through this period, identifying other opportunities at EA, and providing as much help to our employees as we possibly can.”
Furthermore, the piece dives into how many heads might face redundancy, which the layoff count is said to be around 40 to 50 people. Although the following should be taken with a grain of salt, the website also notes that the “entire company could be shut down.”
As of now, it looks like EA’s mobile scene isn’t doing too well especially after the report of Command & Conquer: Rivals failing to meet expectations. I guess we’ll see how well the studio performs as EA aims to churn out live-service games and content from FireMonkeys.
As it stands now, other companies are facing layoffs like FireMonkeys, much like Activision-Blizzard, and ArenaNet.