Skip to main content

EA layoffs hit Apex Legends, Star Wars studio Respawn

Those affected include Respawn devs who helped launch Apex Legends

EA’s layoffs and cutbacks have hit Apex Legends and Star Wars Jedi studio Respawn Entertainment, including some devs who were there at the multiplayer game’s start. The news came in small drips on Twitter, as some of those affected posted about being back on the labor market.

EA announced the cuts at the end of February 2024, but didn’t say which studios the corporation’s decisions would affect.

Long-time Apex Legends social lead Alex Ackerman, who started with Respawn in 2019 and worked on every season of the game, was one of those laid off.

“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 said in a tweet. “Working on this game and supporting this community has truly been the honor of my career and a highlight of my life. Thank you for everything, legends.”

Former Apex communications lead Ryan Rigney said Ackerman was responsible for turning Apex Legends’ social channels into some of the fastest-growing channels in the games industry.

The cuts are just the latest in a continuous stream of layoffs across the sector, and like most of the others – including Epic Games’ 800-person layoff at the end of 2023 – they seemingly have little to do with the studios’ performance or how popular their games are.

Engagement charts from market research firm Circana show that Apex Legends ranked ninth in engagement on PS5 and 11th on Xbox in February 2024, while SteamDB shows roughly 400,000 or more players in the game each day on Steam. That’s in addition to those who play Apex directly through EA’s Origen launcher, numbers that Circana doesn’t track. On top of that, Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was the ninth best-selling game of 2023.

EA also canceled several games, including plans for licensed Marvel games and an unannounced Star Wars game.