Community management and esports hit hardest, but development pool to grow in 2019.
Activision Blizzard has confirmed that it will lay off approximately 8% of its 9,600 strong workforce, amounting to around 800 job losses in total.
The news was confirmed in the company’s Q4 2018 earnings report yesterday. Despite achieving record revenues for the year as a whole, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick declared that the company had not realised its full potential.
The majority of the job losses will be felt in publishing, community management and esports, while extra resources will be allocated to further development for titles such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, Diablo and World of Warcraft.
It has been reported that the company intends to increase the number of developers working across the company’s portfolio by around 20% in 2019.
J. Allen Brack, who recently assumed the role of CEO at Blizzard, released a statement alongside the announcement. In it he assured the community that the company’s significant investment in the Overwatch League will continue to be a priority for the company.
“Our development pipeline is strong, and we have the largest lineup of games that we’ve ever had,” it begins.
“At the same time, Blizzard tries to have a level of craftsmanship and excellence in all that we do. Maintaining those standards as we continue expanding these worlds takes both time and talented developers.
“To better support these priorities, we need to reorganize some of our non-development teams. As a result, we will be reducing the number of non-development positions in North America and anticipate a related process in our regional offices over the coming months subject to local requirements. This was an extremely difficult decision, and we want to acknowledge the effort of everyone who has contributed to Blizzard…
“As difficult as some of these organizational changes are, I am confident in Blizzard’s future and we will continue working hard to live up to not only our mission, but your expectations. We look forward to sharing everything with you when it’s ready.”
Those leaving the company will receive support in the form of a severance package, continued benefits, and assistance in finding their next role in the industry.