Following the horrible confirmation that over 800 employees were affected by the recent Activision Blizzard layoffs, the publisher has announced that they are looking to put a focus on hiring for several of their franchises including Overwatch and "several projects" under the Diablo umbrella.
"Diablo's development headcount will grow substantially as the teams work on several projects underway for the franchise, as well as the global launch for Diablo Immortal," said COO Coddy Johnson in a recent investor's call that ComicBook was a part of.
Since we already knew about the mobile game (and its massive backlash), the "several" emphasis is likely pointing towards the Diablo 4 announcement that Blizzard fans were originally hoping for. There have also been rumors of a Diablo animated television show also in the works, though it looks like the focus here is for game development entirely.
The team is also currently hiring for a ton of positions for Overwatch, including writers for new and pre-existing lore and narrative design. With the news of over 800 layoffs, it's a hard pill to swallow that there is already talk of bringing new faces in especially while so many Blizzard / Activision employees are suddenly faced with the unknown.
During the same call, the Activision team also mentioned that Blizzard had no "major" releases planned for 2019, which means if this is in fact Diablo 4, we're not going to see it this year. That also means no other major title launches as well, with a sole focus on pre-existent content expansion.0comments
As for the layoffs, they reportedly span across several divisions, including Activision, Blizzard, King, and a few other smaller studios. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick mentioned, “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.”
What do you think about the dramatic moves announced by Activision Blizzard in the wake of the massive layoffs and 'renewed' vision ahead? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, or hit me up over on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.