In a recent earnings call Activision Blizzard announced that they would begin the process of laying off eight percent of their staff. There have been rumours of this round of layoffs for a while now, and this process seems to show that they were all true.
Eight percent of Activision Blizzard’s staff would be around 800 people, based on the company having a rough count of 9,600 employees in 2018. Those being let go will be notified shortly, including employees across Blizzard, Activision, and King.
In the earnings call Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard CEO, told investors that while the company had achieved great results in 2018, they hadn’t achieved the results they wanted. Kotick added that there were in fact a number of missed opportunities in 2018, which is part of why the company will restructure this year in order to gear towards their lowered expectations for 2019.
The departments that will see layoffs will mostly be non-game development related, and employees will be moved around in order to bolster the development of core franchises such as Diablo and Call of Duty.
So far sources have confirmed that layoffs have hit Activision, Blizzard, King, and High Moon Studios. J. Allen Brack explained that over the years certain non-game development areas have become out of proportion with the state of current game releases. While this restructure will not be easy process, it will allow Activision Blizzard to be more streamlined and efficient in the future.
Those who are let go as part of this transition have been promised a comprehensive severance package, career coaching, ongoing health benefits, assistance with new job placements, and profit-sharing bonuses for the past year. Blizzard employees receive two annual bonuses based on the company’s performance, so for another year those entitled to this bonus will still see it.
Rumors about these layoffs have been circling for a while. According to Kotaku staff have been going to work for some time now unsure about the future, or even the day ahead. Apparently some employees even cried and shared hugs in the car park the day layoffs were announced.