Last week, a huge report began circulating that Activision-Blizzard was planning a massive wave of layoffs this Tuesday. The publisher held a conference today to begin the expected terminations as employees effected by the decision were notified.
The confirmation of the process was reported by Kotaku as more and more employees are suddenly facing termination of their contracts. Reportedly, those employees that are being let go have been offered a "comprehensive service package" as well as assistance in finding new work.
“Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs,” Blizzard president J. Allen Brack mentioned in a statement to the site. “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.”
Despite Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick having mentioned that they've "once again achieved record results in 2018," the massive wave of layoffs were exactly that: massive. With laying off a whopping 8% of their staff, the recent termination decision leaves over 800 employees suddenly without a job.
The layoffs span across several divisions, including Activision, Blizzard, King, and a few other smaller studios. Kotick also added, “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.”
Suddenly coming face-to-face with losing a job one has worked so hard for, it's never an easy position to be in, especially given how grueling the work can be at times. Developers have a passion for their creations that make the long-hours and social media onslaughts worth it and to see that suddenly change is heartbreaking.
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by the layoffs, please see our previous coverage here detailing a growing spreadsheet for studios that are looking to hire immediately.
Update: 8% of the staff has been laid off, which means over 800 employees have been affected.0comments
Update 2: Layoffs are mainly targeted towards administrative positions to "make room" for more "meaningful developmental roles," according to Activision.
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