Game publisher Activision-Blizzard announced that it will lay off 8% of its staff of 9,600 employees. This announcement was made during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Tuesday. A total of nearly 800 employees, that will be laid off will mostly belong to non-game development and administrative areas of the company.
CEO of Activision-Blizzard Bobby Kotick said, “The move is being made in an effort at de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business.” The company is undergoing restructuring because of missed expectations for 2018 and lowered expectations for 2019. It will boost up the numbers of employees in the development team of its franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo.
In a note to its staff obtained by Kotaku, Blizzard, president J. Allen Brack said, “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.”
The letter also promised “a comprehensive severance package”, says Kotaku. It will include continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance as well as profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year to those who are being laid off at Blizzard.
In the official press release on Blizzard’s website, Brack said Blizzard is dedicated to bringing their unannounced projects to life. They will focus heavily on Esports and the Overwatch League, which is their biggest esports brand.
Twitterati is highly disappointed with this news and is sympathetic towards dismissed employees.
As they brace for today's layoffs, Blizzard employees are crying and hugging in the parking lot, according to a person there. Still no official word from the company, but people in publishing and esports are expecting big cuts. Earnings is at 5pm ET – news should be around then.
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) February 12, 2019
Today's been a tough day and I'm sad to say I've been impacted by the layoffs at Blizzard. I'm a Social Media Manager with Community Development experience who has developed and executed social media strategies for the Overwatch League, Twitch and Riot Games.
— Jessie Lawrence (@hitstreak) February 12, 2019
I've had the delight of working with countless folk from @Blizzard_Ent over the last decade — always so hard working and caring towards their games and communities. So sad to hear the news of possible layoffs today :[. @jasonschreier's updates breaking my heart X.X
— Sean Plott (@day9tv) February 12, 2019
Other organizations are also offering job opportunities to those in need.
Activision Blizzard is full of great people and some dear friends. I hope the rumors of impending layoffs aren't true. Whatever the future holds, here are all the open roles at @Naughty_Dog on The Last of Us Part II. Follow @NaughtyDogJobs for any new openings. pic.twitter.com/K3Ir6QSufB
— Scott Lowe (@ScottLowe) February 9, 2019
The news about alleged Activision/Blizzard layoffs next week could mean hundreds of great game makers will be without work. We can't have that.
PLEASE RT this document: a massive list of game dev job opportunities across the world. Help folks find work!https://t.co/UkzvwvyLTi
— Mitch Dyer (@MitchyD) February 9, 2019