By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO, April 16 Game publisher
Electronic Arts Inc moved on Monday to squash rumors it
will lay off between 500 and 1,000 employees in an attempt to
cut costs and trim its headcount.
John Reseburg, a company spokesman, acknowledged that E.A.
is "reshuffling" its 9,000-strong worldwide work force, but
dismissed Internet reports of the layoffs. "I don't think there
is a factual basis for the reports," Reseburg said. He added
the company is expecting its headcount to be higher at the end
of 2012 compared with last year.
"We're growing and we're looking to hire hundreds of people
for our digital, console, mobile and social games," Reseburg
said. "Like all game companies, we make occasional adjustments
to resize our teams as projects are completed and new priorities
are established. We expect that our headcount will be up at the
end of the year."
Citing multiple unnamed sources, the website StartupGrind
reported on Sunday that the Redwood City, California-based game
publisher will lay off 500 to 1,000 employees as early as this
week as it struggles with poor reception for 'Star Wars: The Old
Republic,' a major online title released in December.
Reseburg declined to confirm the specific number of people
who will leave the company as it reshuffles.
The embattled game publisher's stock has shed close to 40
percent of its value since November. E.A. shares were down 5
percent at $15.30 in midday trading on Monday.