Nothing hurts more than losing a job. While being fired is one thing, being laid off is another beast. If you’re a full-time employee, you might get a severance package to help tide you over while you look for another job. If you’re a freelancer… You’re out of luck. Unfortunately, the latter seems to be the case for all 200 QA testers working on Apex Legends for EA. According to new reports, Electronic Arts has unexpectedly closed the entire Baton Rouge QA branch. Here’s what we’ve heard about the situation so far.
Apex Legends QA Testers Fired Over Zoom
At 8:00 AM Tuesday morning, EA’s Baton Rouge QA studio was contacted by their contracting company with an “out of the blue” Zoom call. Apparently, the call concluded with the whole QA team being disbanded, leaving over 200 people out of a job. The only people offered a severance package were full-time supervisors. After the Zoom meeting announcing the disbandment of the studio, employees were able to recover their belongings under supervision from security. Unsurprisingly, former employees took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
EA just fired its entire Baton Rouge studio, which is essentially their entire Apex Legends QA staff.
— Ben (@TopMarx420) February 28, 2023
The Baton Rouge office was key in the quality testing for Apex Legends, as mentioned by @TopMarx420 on Twitter. The company was responsible for QA testing the game before its launch in 2019. Former employees are understandably worried about the game’s quality dropping now that they aren’t involved.
In an email to Kotaku, an EA spokesperson had this to say:
“As part of our ongoing global strategy, we are expanding the distribution of our Apex Legends testing team and ending testing execution that’s been concentrated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, impacting services provided by our third-party provider. Our global team, inclusive of remote playtesters across the U.S., enables us to increase the hours per week we’re able to test and optimize the game and reflects a commitment to understand and better serve our growing community around the world.”
These layoffs come after EA closed Apex Legends Mobile and canceled its mobile Battlefield title. Whether or not EA has other plans for future Apex QA is unclear at this time.