Activision Blizzard employees officially informed of layoffs

The rumored layoffs taking place at Activision Blizzard are now official, as employees were informed in an email sent out this afternoon.

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Activision Blizzard earnings were just made public and many were waiting to what the details would be regarding potential layoffs hitting the massive gaming company. A reporter learned via an internal email that employees were informed this afternoon that staff will be getting cut. Previous reports suggest the company will cut roughly 8% of its workforce. We'll update when official numbers are revealed.

Jason Schreier of Kotaku reported on the email, which included this statement from Blizzard President J. Allen Brack. “Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs,” Brack said in a note to staff around 1 pm PT that was obtained by the publication. “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.”

Activision Blizzard layoffs official work staff fired email earnings miss

The move is part of a plan to restructure due to missed expectations for 2018 and lowered expectations for 2019. The letter, as reported, included a promise of a "comprehensive severance package", job placement assistance, continued health benefits, and career coaching. Profit-sharing bonuses for the previous year will also still be given out to the laid-off employees.

Activision Blizzard generated $1.79 billion in operating cash for the year ending on December 31, 2018, compared to $2.21 billion for 2017. CEO Bobby Kotick said this in the Activision Blizzard earnings press release:

“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.”

The plan for 2019 includes increasing development investment in the biggest Activision Blizzard franchises, "enabling teams to accelerate the pace and quality of content for their communities and supporting a number of new product initiatives." Though there are layoffs taking place, the number of developers working on Call of Duty, CandyCrush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo will increase "approximately 20% over the course of 2019". This will likely be the result of restructuring once layoffs are completed.

We at Shacknews wish speedy employment to all of those affected by this decision.

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Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

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