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Laid-off BioWare staff sue studio for better severance

Laid-off BioWare staff sue studio for better severance

Former staff at EA's BioWare studio are taking the developer to court in an effort to get improvement severance pay.

A group of seven ex-employees have filed a Statement of Claim with the Alberta Court of King's Bench, in which they say that the severance offer given to them by BioWare was too low. The group's legal representation – Worobec Law – says that staff terminated without cause within Alberta are usually paid at least one month of severance for every year they have worked at a company, including the "full value of all benefits included".

"In light of the numerous recent industry layoffs and the fact that BioWare’s NDAs prevent us from showing any of our recent work on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf in our portfolios, we are very concerned about the difficulty many of us will have finding work as the holiday season approaches," one of the seven terminated employees wrote.

"While we remain supportive of the game we worked so hard on, and of our colleagues continuing that work, we are struggling to understand why BioWare is shortchanging us in this challenging time."

The group's counsel, R Alex Kennedy, added: "There are many situations where employers include termination provisions that are not enforced by the Courts," he said, "and I think we see that in this case too. BioWare attempted to reduce its obligation to these employees well below what the courts typically award, including by eliminating benefits from its termination pay - that appears to be contrary to the Employment Standards Code."

In August of this year, BioWare cut 50 jobs in an effort to make the studio "more agile and more focused".

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.