Updated at 1:45 p.m. PST with information about Visceral.
The publisher confirmed today that it laid off employees in its Los Angeles and Montreal studios. I have confirmed these cuts affect Visceral Montreal, which is working on the third-person shooter Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. That game has a March 26 release date.
But the rumor that EA shut down Visceral Redwood Shores is not accurate according to a source familiar with the matter.
EA president Frank Gibeau released a blog on EA.com explaining the reasoning for the layoffs:
Yesterday, Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4, signaling that after seven years, gamers will be treated to a massive leap in technology, creativity, and fun. In the months ahead, we expect more announcements on new platforms and partnerships.
For EA’s creative teams, this transition comes as no surprise. We’ve been investing and innovating on new technology for months. Console partners who have seen our early work agree, EA’s next-gen software is nothing short of astonishing.
Gibeau went on to write about Battlefield 4 and the gains EA made on iOS and Android before getting to the layoffs:
Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives. But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance. This week we let some people go in Los Angeles, Montreal as well as in some smaller locations. These are good people, and we have offered outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job.
Console transitions are a complex and challenging experience. I’ve helped navigate several and agree with an old saying we have at EA: Transition is our friend. All the trend lines are converging to reward the creative and financial investments we have made in mobile and console technology. We have never been more ready or more excited about what comes next.
Gibeau may find transition friendly, but the newly out-of-work developers probably disagree.
EA was absent from Sony’s PlayStation 4 press conference in New York City yesterday. Analyst Michael Pachter told GamesBeat that he doesn’t believe EA had any new properties ready to show, which is why Sony didn’t showcase the publisher.