As Electronic Arts’ recently announced restructuring gains momentum, even developers working on the company’s most successful games are not safe. It appears that Respawn Entertainment has been hit with layoffs.

As reported by IGN, Respawn has just laid off 23 employees, mostly from the Apex Legends team, with the process expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Among those affected are developers in a variety of roles, including global social media lead Alex Ackerman, senior environment artist Denis Akulov, and writer Christal Rose.

“After 20 Seasons of Apex and 5 years at Respawn nearly to the day, my job has been made redundant and I have been laid off,” Ackerman wrote.

Last month, Electronic Arts presented a new restructuring plan, which includes laying off around 670 people and reorganizing its gaming portfolio. In addition to job cuts, the company also canceled an unannounced Star Wars shooter from Respawn Entertainment and closed Ridgeline Games, a studio founded by Marcus Lehto to work on the Battlefield series.

The publisher also announced its decision to move away from licensed games and instead focus more on its own franchises and live service titles. But with reports of the layoffs at Respawn, it seems that even the creators of one of EA’s biggest first-party IPs are at risk of losing their jobs.

During the company’s latest earnings call, CFO Stuart Canfield said Apex Legends “did not meet our expectations” in terms of its performance in the third quarter ended December 31, 2023. However, the game remains one of its core franchises, and, as one source told IGN, it is still a “huge priority” for Electronic Arts.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom conference, EA CEO Andrew Wilson called Apex Legends an “incredible franchise,” adding that the game has a 75% retention over the course of a five-year period.

“I can’t think of more than two or three new IP that launched in our industry in the last 10 to 15 years that has reached the level that Apex has,” he said.

Despite the massive success, Electronic Arts plans to make Apex Legends more “player friendly” and expand it beyond the battle royale genre. Wilson is likely hinting at more game modes, events, and content that could potentially turn the IP into something that Epic Games is doing with Fortnite.

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