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Roughly 200 employees abruptly laid off at Electronic Arts' Baton Rouge office

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BATON ROUGE - More than 200 quality assurance testers at Electronic Arts' LSU-based office had their employment severed with little to no warning Tuesday, according to several reports. 

Former workers told WBRZ that the office was closed when they showed up for work Tuesday, and the layoffs were unceremoniously announced during a mandatory, unscheduled Zoom call with contracting agency Magnit Global. The company announced the call in an email just hours earlier, encouraging employees to join from their personal computers and smartphones. 

Those who lost their jobs were given 60 days of severance pay, according to one email obtained by WBRZ. 

A report from Kotaku, which first reported on the situation, claims supervisors at the office were also taken by surprise and given no time to prepare for the announcement. 

The majority of the impacted employees were testers for Respawn Entertainment's popular multiplayer game 'Apex Legends,' which is published by EA. The decision comes amid shifts in EA's release schedule, which included canceling an 'Apex Legends' spinoff game for smartphones.

EA's establishment of a Baton Rouge office was the culmination of a 3-year effort to bring the company to the area. It coincided with the development of the LSU Digital Media Center, which opened in early 2014.

WBRZ reported at the time that officials hoped to have as many as 600 employees at that location.

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