It’s official: Activision Blizzard is laying off a ton of people.
The company will be laying off nearly 800 people from its 9,600 head count. During the earnings call earlier today (via Kotaku), Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told investors that:
- the company has achieved record results in 2018,
- but the company will need to consolidate and restructure because of missed expectations for 2018 and lower expectations for 2019.
- The company will be cutting non-game development departments and bolster its development staff for franchises like Call of Duty and Diablo.
Here’s part of the press release meant for investors via Activision Blizzard:
While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our 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.
The layoffs have affected Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, Activision studios like High Moon, and even non-game development departments according to a Kotaku tip-off.
So in other words, the people responsible for the games we’re playing from Activision Blizzard are getting laid off while the higher-ups and executives get to keep their jobs and massive bonuses. There’s a lot more going on, but it’s bewildering that a giant company finds massive success with its games and somehow lay off a ton of people.
In contrast, the late Satoru Iwata took a massive pay cut when his company Nintendo was experiencing financial doldrums with the 3DS and Wii U back in 2014. Just think about that for a second before you start defending these bigwig companies.