Activision Blizzard, publisher of Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Candy Crush, has announced significant layoffs. Employees were notified of the cuts today, with people at Activision, Blizzard, and mobile game company King affected.
Activision has also detailed its financial performance for the forth quarter of 2018 and, as part of this, noted that it “will increase development investment in its biggest franchises, enabling teams to accelerate the pace and quality of content for their communities and supporting a number of new product initiatives.” It also cited that the number of developers that will be working on “Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo in aggregate will increase approximately 20% over the course of 2019.”
However, this greater investment, it says, will be funded by “de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting expectations and reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business”–referring to the layoffs.
In a statement acquired by Kotaku, Blizzard president said “staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with [the company’s] current release slate,” which has necessitated the need to scale down. Although the layoffs are currently isolated to the US business, Brack indicated that other regional offices will also be evaluated in the future and could also be impacted, “subject to local requirements.”
Brack’s message to Activision Blizzard’s reportedly states “a comprehensive severance package,” in addition to job assistance and a profit-sharing bonus will be offered to those at Blizzard that are being affected by the layoffs.