Games News

Activision Blizzard employees liken layoffs to a bloodbath

Soldier with a skull on his mask from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

When Activision Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick said the company will be laying off 8 per cent of its workforce, which amounts to 800 people, he didn't say it's already happening, with employees likening the whole ordeal to a bloodbath.

For what it's worth, Activision Blizzard's outlook mentioned "reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs across the business", which suggested downsizing of administration and staff unrelated to game development. 

Unfortunately, even though the cuts were reportedly biggest in IT, PR and QA, no department ended up safe.

Activision Blizzard's esports department is said to have been hit hard as well, with many apparently expecting this outcome, due to its connection to Amy Morhaime, spouse of Blizzard's former CEO who left the company in October 2018.

The amount of people losing their jobs is truly disheartening and while some claim they anticipated layoffs, none of them seem to have anticipated the sheer scale of them. Many studios already responded via Twitter, offering employment opportunities in response.

What seems to pain the most though is the fact that Kotick and Co decided on cuts despite admittedly the best financial results in the company's history. He thinks they didn't realise their full potential and it seems that layoffs are a way to do it. 

Kotick did say that Activision Blizzard will increase the number of developers on Call of Duty, CandyCrush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo franchises by 20 per cent, but it's difficult to swallow how they went about it.

"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", Kotick said.

AltCharSoldier with a skull on his mask from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Bungie leaving Activision

Interestingly enough, despite what Kotick calls the best financial results in their history, Activision Blizzard's stock is at a two-year low, which says enough about the confidence in the company. They started 2019 losing two CFOs in a single week and are even being sued over their split with Bungie, but apparently, their business is just doing fine.