Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Electronic Arts planning to lay off 500 or more employees?

The gaming company hasn't had an easy time of it lately, and reportedly has layoffs in the offing to help set the ship aright.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Electronic Arts might soon cut between 5 percent and 11 percent of its staff, according to a new report.

Derek Andersen over at Startup Grind is reporting, citing "multiple sources," that the gaming publisher is planning to lay off between 500 and 1,000 employees. Andersen doesn't know exactly when the layoffs will be announced, but he says that they could come down as early as this week.

When examining EA both now and over the last few quarters, it might not be all that surprising that the company is looking to lay off employees. During its last-reported quarter, ended December 31, a crucial period for the publisher that includes holiday shopping, it lost $205 million. In the previous quarter, its losses hit $340 million.

Those poor results preceded the embarrassing revelation earlier this month from the Consumerist, which found that Americans believe EA is the worst company in the country. In addition, the company's biggest launch of the year, Mass Effect 3, was criticized by gamers for a lackluster ending that put a rather disappointing final note on a hugely beloved franchise.

Investors have certainly noticed all the trouble EA is experiencing. This year alone, the company's shares are down 21.5 percent to $16.18, and over the last five years, its stock has lost 70 percent of its value. Obviously something needs to be done, and unfortunately, the company reportedly believes it's layoffs.

EA shares are up 7 cents in early trading today. The company did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment on the Startup Grind report.