Thus far, we’ve been pretty damn excited to have the explosive Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel co-op action in the palms of our hands. Unfortunately, behind the scenes of the game’s development, things aren’t going that well in terms of employment. Recently, EA confirmed that they let go its entire Visceral Montreal staff after completion of the game.
A former employee of the studio, who remains anonymous, has confirmed that the entire EA Visceral Montreal studio was laid off very recently. Although we don’t know which studios were entirely affected or the full extent of the individual firings, the former employee’s comments suggests that the layoffs occurred almost entirely after Visceral Montreal completed their development of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel. There’s only a month away until The Devil’s Cartel releases (coming March 26th on Xbox 360 and PS3), so the gaming community is wondering what exactly the reason behind the sudden firings was. Here’s what an EA representative made an official statement regarding the layoffs of Visceral Montreal:
Today EA internally announced some adjustments to select development teams to align staff and skills against priority growth areas, including new technologies and mobile. Many employees are being retrained for new positions; however a small number will be released. These are great, talented people and we wish them well. EA is growing globally, and we expect our headcount to increase this year.
Despite everything that’s happened, EA has also pointed out that these layoffs haven’t been felt by Visceral Redwood Shores (the studio behind the Dead Space franchise). Apparently there was some confusion over on Twitter regarding this, so EA wanted to clarify. Visceral Montreal, in turn, issued their own statement regarding these layoffs by saying, “EA Montreal is a key development studio where our long-term plan is to sharpen our teams' focus on consoles and mobile games."
It’s sad to see such an enthusiastic team of game developers be broken up so soon, but we do have a small, silver-lining to this story. Visceral Montreal will not be shutting down completely, EA confirmed, but wouldn’t say how the Visceral Montreal team would be reconstructed. We sincerely hope that The Devil’s Cartel absolutely kills in sales, returning these people to work with their jobs intact. Read up on our impressions of the game here!