Employment Law

BioWare cutting 50 jobs, restructuring to meet ‘changing needs’


Dozens of jobs are on the chopping block at BioWare, as the Edmonton-based video game developer restructures its business.

In a blog post on Aug. 23, Gary McKay, the company’s general manager, said approximately 50 roles are being eliminated.

“In order to meet the needs of our upcoming projects, continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard of quality, and ensure BioWare can continue to thrive in an industry that’s rapidly evolving, we must shift towards a more agile and more focused studio,” McKay said.

“To achieve this, we find ourselves in a position where change is not only necessary, but unavoidable. As difficult as this is to say, rethinking our approach to development inevitably means reorganizing our team to match the studio’s changing needs.”

He added that the company, owned by Electronic Arts (EA), is helping affected staff find jobs within EA’s other subsidiaries.

According to LinkedIn, BioWare employs a total workforce of more than 500 people. Over 200 workers are located in Canada.

Major tech layoffs continue

The reduction at BioWare comes amid a flurry of tech sector layoffs in 2023.

Several big names, including SecureWorks, Rapid7, Dell, Discord, Telus, Microsoft, Ritual, and Meta, are significantly scaling back their staffing levels as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

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Termination agreements for BioWare employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at BioWare are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Alberta, B.C., and Ontario.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Severance pay technology industry employees
Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

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