During a surprise Zoom call, EA reportedly laid off more than 200 quality assurance testers. The employees affected worked primarily at Electronic Arts' Baton Rouge, Louisiana office on the mega-popular battle royale Apex Legends, developed by Respawn Entertainment.
As reported by Kotaku, sources familiar with the meeting said that the contract testers were informed they would be losing their jobs, effective immediately, during an unscheduled Zoom meeting at 8 am on Tuesday. Some of the testers laid off had just finished working their overnight shift.
Current and former testers took to Twitter to share the news.
EA would not comment directly on the layoffs, but a spokesperson for the company told Kotaku via email that “testing games is an integral part of delivering the best experiences for our players" and that "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."
This unhappy news follows the launch of Apex Legends' 16th season of support, known as Revelry, and came as a shock even to full-time managers and supervisors, who were not told ahead of time. Contractors affected will reportedly receive 60 days' severance, sources said.
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