- BioWare said the company reached the point where change has become “unavoidable”
- Some employees will be offered new roles across other EA studios
- Unity, Ubisoft and Niantic have also implemented layoffs in recent months
“Mass Effect” game developer BioWare will lay off 50 employees as the company goes through a reorganization amid a rapidly evolving gaming industry.
The game developer is looking to transition to “a more agile and more focused studio,” general manager Gary McKay said in a blog post Wednesday.
“To achieve this, we find ourselves in a position where change is not only necessary, but unavoidable,” he added.
BioWare is currently “rethinking” its approach to game development and inevitably, it will lead to a restructuring that should match the studio’s shifting needs.
“As part of this transition, we are eliminating approximately 50 roles,” McKay said.
The layoffs coincide with open roles at BioWare’s parent company, Electronic Arts (EA), and affected workers will be provided with support and professional resources as they apply for positions across EA’s other studios.
McKay acknowledged that not all affected employees will find new roles at EA, but BioWare is committed to supporting them through the transition.
Moving forward, BioWare will focus on ensuring that “Dragon Age: Dreadwolf” and the next “Mass Effect” are successful.
News of the layoffs came after BioWare confirmed that “Star Wars: The Old Republic” would be taken over by online games boutique studio Broadsword amid reports that EA was preparing to move the game to an outside studio. At the time, McKay said most of the current BioWare team that worked on the game would be invited to move to Broadsword but “not every role” would move. Workers who won’t be moving to the partner studio will be given the opportunity to find new roles within EA.
Also on Tuesday, VentureBeat reported that BioWare decided not to renew its contract with Keywords Studios, which has been working on several BioWare projects. Some contractors with the game services firm that provides playtesting services voted to unionize last year. BioWare’s contract with Keywords will expire on Sept. 27.
BioWare is joining the list of gaming companies that have laid off employees this year, including development software provider Unity, which reportedly laid off around 600 employees in May. The company was also reportedly considering reducing its global real estate footprint from 58 to 30 in the next few years.
Ubisoft also cut jobs at its Newcastle, U.K. and North Carolina offices in May, affecting 60 people. The customer service unit was believed to have been hit hardest by the latest layoffs round at the company.
In June, “Pokemon Go” maker Niantic said it was cutting 230 jobs due to business downturn post-pandemic. While the hit game brought in roughly $1 billion in revenues since its release, other Niantic games released in recent years struggled to match Pokemon Go’s success.
In the wider tech industry, more than 231,300 employees have lost their jobs so far in 2023, as per layoffs tracker layoffs.fyi.