Activision Blizzard Confirms Massive Layoffs, Over 800 Affected
It was only a few days ago when a report surfaced alleging Activision Blizzard was in hotter water than originally thought, the company’s recently mounting woes said to be heading toward massive employee layoffs. Though the publishing giant has largely remained silent regarding the unfortunate news, it now appears the rumors have indeed been confirmed.
By way of an extensive report from Kotaku, it’s now been learned that Activision Blizzard is set to let go about 8% of its estimated 9,600-person workforce, resulting in roughly 800 employees being out of work. Official confirmation took place over an earnings call, where Activision CEO Bobby Kotick informed investors of the impending layoffs.
Kotick confirmed the cutting of several hundred jobs from “mainly non-game-development departments,” with job losses largely said to be impacting “Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, and some of Activision’s studios.” This was also said to include High Moon Studios, who previously assisted with development on Destiny 2 before Bungie eventfully reacquired the publishing rights.
The extent of Blizzard’s layoffs was relegated to non-development positions such as publishing and esports, but the departments affected were nonetheless expected to be getting hit pretty hard. An internal statement from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack acknowledged the “many” non-development teams present under the company, but ultimately found that their current staff size was “out of proportion.”
Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I’m sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.”
Reportedly, these massive job losses are to be compensated alongside “a comprehensive severance package,” which includes extended health benefits and professional assistance with finding new work. Brack’s statement adds, “There’s no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues.”
Future plans reportedly see Activision Blizzard shifting focus toward already-established brands such as Call of Duty and Diablo, as titles such as these are what contributed to the company’s “record results in 2018.” Despite seemingly-promising figures, the company has nonetheless seen fit to proceed with these mass layoffs. A follow-up press release from CEO Bobby Kotick assured this drastic measure was all in effort to reach Activision Blizzard’s “full potential”:
To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes. These changes should enable us to achieve the many opportunities our industry affords us, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”
What do you think? Are you shocked that so many people could lose their jobs? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
Eric Hall1506 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.