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EA Australia Studio Firemonkeys Suffers Layoffs, Takes Over ‘Sims Mobile’

Electronic Arts Australia developer Firemonkeys has been hit by layoffs following a decision by the publisher to reorganize staff to focus on live services, an EA spokesperson tells Variety.

Firemonkeys will now be taking over the development of “The Sims Mobile” from the Maxis Mobile team.

“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 into a consultation period that will impact some roles in the studio,” said EA. “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.”

No official number of affected employees has been released so far. A statement from Game Workers Unite Australia estimates between 80 and 100 employees were impacted; however, the number has since been amended to between 40 and 50.

“A layoff of this magnitude would represent a loss of almost 5% of the entire Australian game development industry nationwide,” says GWUA in the post. “This is a devastating blow to local development – an extraordinarily disappointing decision which will affect the already crowded local freelancer and indie market, as well as the undergraduate student body.”

FireMonkeys formed in 2012 after EA merged IronMonkey Studios and FireMint. The studio is one of the largest development houses in Australia, focusing exclusively on mobile game development. The company is best known for Real Racing 3,” and “Need for Speed: No Limits.

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