Significant employee layoffs have begun at Activision Blizzard. The publisher announced this afternoon they will be letting go hundreds of staff members working within Activision, Blizzard, and King.
A post on Blizzard’s website from president J. Allan Brack gave little detail about the layoffs at the publisher of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. However, it did say the company is adding to game development while undergoing what they say is a reorganization of their non-development teams. Brack recently took over as president in October.
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. To assist with the transition, we are offering each impacted employee a severance package that includes additional pay, benefits continuation, and career and recruiting support to help them find their next opportunity. These people are members of the Blizzard family—they’ve cared deeply and contributed greatly to our work here and we are extremely grateful for all they’ve done.
According to Katrina Garsten, Associate Producer of In-Game Cinematics at Blizzard, the publisher laid off almost 800 people within Activision Blizzard.
While I still have a job, almost 800 people across Activision Blizzard do not. Please bear with me as I retweet job opportunities for those affected, and consider retweeting job opportunities for your followers as well.
— Katrina Garsten (@kgarsten) February 12, 2019
Activision released their financial performance results for 2018 and outlined their plan for 2019. Saying they would “increase development investment in its biggest franchises.” In a statement regarding their finance report, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick said,
“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.”
Almost immediately other gaming developers, publishers, and professionals took to social media reaching out to employees with position opportunities.