The long-awaited Activision Blizzard layoffs have begun as employees across various organizations including King, Blizzard, and Activision themselves have been officially let go from their jobs.
As Activision Blizzard Inc. stocks begin to rebound, the game developer, publisher, and its staff has begun to downsize their staff. Affected from the mega-publishers layoff moves comes staff across various organizations across the Activision Blizzard umbrella, including King, Blizzard, and Activision itself.
According to a report from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Blizzard was mostly hit by non-developmental staff departures, while their departments regarding publishing and esports will be the most affected by the breaking news.
In an internal email that has been leaked, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack goes over why the company has begun to scale back the amount of staff they have on board, stating that their current “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.”
The report only comes shortly after last weeks rumors that layoffs would occur shortly after the earnings report for 2018 was released. The staff, however, according to the memo obtained by Kotaku also states that the employees affected by the dismissals have been promised a comprehensive severance package, continued health benefits, career coaching, and job placement assistance as well as profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year. These offers only affect those who have been affected by the layoffs announced today.
Brack doesn’t expect employees to take it easy stating that “there’s no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues. But amid the lay off news, Activision Blizzard has seen positive growth in their stock, the value increasing by 3.69%, closing out just above the $40.00 USD mark at the time. Their stock value is expected to rise another 2-3% in the after hours.
The company has seen investors double down on their profit margins and invest in the company once again. However, even with the turnaround, Activision Blizzard is still shuffling their staff about, restructuring each of their organizations to supplement for the possibility of better earnings.
You can read the full statement regarding the Blizzard layoffs from J. Allen Brack down below as obtained by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier:
Today is a difficult day, and I have some hard decisions to communicate.
The Blizzard leadership team and I have been talking a lot about how we want to build on Blizzard’s legacy and what the priorities are for the company going forward. Our top priority is to continue making great games, and entertainment experiences. It’s critical that we prioritize product development and grow the capacity of the teams doing this work to best serve our player community. We also need to evolve operationally to provide the best support for new and existing products. As a result, we’ve made the decision to change parts of the organization, which I’ll share more about in a separate email later today.
Unfortunately, these changes come with a harder reality. 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.
There’s no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues. In the U.S. we are offering a comprehensive severance package, extended health and benefits continuation, profit sharing for 2018, career coaching, and job search/placement assistance. These people are members of the Blizzard Family—they care deeply and contributed greatly to the work we are all committed to. We are extremely grateful for their contributions here at Blizzard.
Managers in the U.S. will meet with impacted employees this afternoon, and we will be following up with team meetings later today and tomorrow. The managing director in each regional office will provide an update to explain in detail what this means for employees in their respective locations.
I will also post a message to the community about the changes this afternoon, so our players understand that these measures do not affect our game development efforts, and are not related to any individual franchise. If anyone from the press or a fansite contacts you, please refer them to Rob Hilburger on the communications team.
This is a lot to take in, and it is not going to be easy. Let’s do our best to support each other through this process. I know many of you will have questions. In addition to my follow-up note later today, I’ll be hosting a fireside chat this Thursday to provide more details about the organizational changes. As always, in the meantime, reach out to me or any member of the exec team if you have questions.
If you are someone that is affected by this news, please feel free to contact us directly if you have tips or would like to discuss the layoffs confidentially with our team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending us a DM on Twitter via @BlastAwayTGR.
About the Writer(s):
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.