EA CEO has achieved 636 times what customers have done recently

EA CEO Andrew Wilson stands on stage at a video game show thinking about the next million.

picture: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

CEO madden Electronic Arts Maker He’s set to make $19.8 million in total compensation for his company’s strong performance in 2021. That’s about half what it was in 2020 after EA’s board cracked down on exorbitant bonuses in the face of shareholder backlash, but still hundreds of times more Than it is in some low EAEmployees who earn estimated salaries during this time experience record inflation.

“For fiscal year 2022, our median employee’s total annual compensation was $115,569, and the annual total compensation of [CEO Andrew] Wilson, was $19,858,539, notes EA in its release Latest SEC filesIt was first reported by Axios. Most of that was stock, with Wilson’s base salary being $1,267,000. That’s a far cry from the roughly $39 million he received in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. After a non-binding shareholder vote for Control of executive pay That year, EA’s board of directors approved a much smaller salary package for 2021, calling the previous year’s gains an “exception.”

But it’s all relative, and in this case, a little money is still a lot, especially compared to what everyone else working at EA makes. Wilson’s 2021 earnings still make him one of the Top 10 highest paid gaming CEOsplacing it well above the average wage among S&P 500 CEOs last year (14.5 million dollars). It also means that Wilson still earns 172 times as much in total EA broker employee compensation ($115,569) and 636 times as much as some customer service employees. Released earlier this month Paid.

A slide from EA's 2022 earnings presentation shows how most of its revenue comes from live service games.

screenshot: EA / Kotaku

One recently laid off EA customer service rep, who wished to remain anonymous because they didn’t want to be seen criticizing a former employer while looking for new work, said. Kotaku They only made $15 an hour after their last annual increase of just $0.10. They, and other employees of EA Austin, had complained of being forced into the office while also dealing with poor wages. that Study MIT A “living wage” for the Austin, Texas area was estimated at $17.46 for a person living alone, but EA would reject requests for increases, saying it was already paying market rates.

An HR rep told Austin employees last November at Slack, based on footage shared with… Kotaku. The company used a similar line when someone asked why EA prices are still lagging behind the mid-range of other tech support roles in town, based on data provided by Recruitment sites like Glassdoor. EA did not respond to a request for comment.

While QA developers are one category of video game employees who have historically been undervalued and underpaid, customer service and technical support is increasingly another category as companies focus on live service games. Microtransactions in online multiplayer games like Apex LegendsAnd the FIFAAnd the madden calculated for 85% of EA’s net bookings The final quarter, and “Advisors,” as they are called internally, are on the front lines helping players navigate bugs, questions, and other issues related to the massive in-game economies. More of these jobs are now being shipped to sellers abroad in cheap labor markets such as Romania and India.

The ex-employee said, “Outsourcing most of EA’s support teams in order to generate higher profit in banks is not acceptable” Kotaku. “Ultimately, lower-level employees have been the backbone to connect with gamers and fulfill their passion and vision for games. During the pandemic, EA has made a huge profit and is still refusing to raise wages on a cost-of-living basis.”

The numbers these days are getting too big—Immortal Diablo He won 24 million dollars In its first two weeks and Microsoft up to $69 billion To Buy Activision Blizzard It’s easy to lose sight of how wide the gaps are. In 1965 the ratio of CEO to average employee pay was only 20. The federal minimum wage at the time was $1.25. If it keeps up Some inflation measuresThe minimum wage would be $24 today. Even QA workers in money presses like Call of duty And the candy crushwho recently won bonuses from Activision Blizzard, I still don’t do much. Meanwhile, Andrew Wilson has received a $40,000 raise in his base salary alone this year.

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