Activision Blizzard has started the arduous process of laying off some of their employees ahead of their fourth-quarter earnings report. In an earnings call, the company stated that it would be cutting approximately 8% of its workforce. As of 2018, Activision Blizzard’s employee count was around 9,600, which means that roughly 800 employees have now lost their jobs.
According to Kotaku, a note was sent out to the affected staff by Blizzard Entertainment’s President, J. Allen Brack which said; “Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs. 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. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.”
In a form of silver lining, Brack also stated that their will be a “comprehensive severance package” which might contain continued health benefits, job-placement assistance and other utilities to help the employees who were laid off. Around the same time, Activisons CEO, Bobby Kotick, announced in a press release to their investors that despite their best efforts, they did not “realize their full potential” and “To help us reach our full potential, we have made a number of important leadership changes.”
In the actual fourth-quarter earnings report, the company showed a huge profit, with a net revenue of $7.5 billion for 2018. However, this was countered by the operating cash flow, which dropped significantly on a year-to-year from $2.21 billion to $1.79 billion, a massive drop in it’s operations department. Activision has stated that it would be cutting “non-gaming development departments” and increasing it’s video game development staff, and it is assumed that it will be the same for the Blizzard side.
The news about the incoming layoffs spread like wildfire in the offices of both Activision and Blizzard in the past couple of weeks. While it was almost inevitable that it would come to this, it’s still a very unfortunate situation for everyone affected by the layoffs. Hopefully all of the 800 employees are able to bounce back and find work for themselves sooner than later.