Layoffs at Infinity Ward and Others Despite Positive Activision Earnings Call

Activision surpassed revenue targets for 2016, but layoffs took place at Infinity Ward and other internal studios regardless.

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Activision has reportedly laid off employees across several internal studios in the last week. Staff members at Beenox, Infinity Ward, several other internal studios, and the Activision corporate office have been affected by layoffs. This comes after Thursday's Activision earnings call in which it was stated that Activision surpassed their revenue targets for 2016.

Reports indicate that Activision Publishing has laid off around 5% of their total workforce. Blizzard Entertainment and MLG weren't among the divisions that suffered layoffs. Instead, it seems that only those companies comprising the Activision Publishing division of the company were targeted.

The layoffs come on the heels of Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg's statements at the earnings call that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare had disappointing sales numbers. It's easy to see then where the decision to lay off a reported 20 people at Infinity Ward came. It seems like a poor work environment when a company gets a "better-than-expected and record fourth-quarter" and lays off employees anyway.

Activision's current slate for 2017 only includes Destiny 2 and the annual Call of Duty entry. From playing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which had a great campaign, I can speculate that it wasn't the actual quality of the game that had an effect on weak sales numbers. The multiplayer component of Infinite Warfare, which is Call of Duty's typical selling point, was much too close to 2014's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and 2015's Call of Duty: Black Ops III. With a total of three studios working to put out a new Call of Duty title each year, perhaps it's time to take the approach EA has with the Battlefield series and give the franchise a rest.

Kotaku reached out to Activision concerning the layoffs and received a canned response. Activision stated that they're "realigning" their internal resources to support upcoming products and adapt to the digital market.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 13, 2017 7:30 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Layoffs at Infinity Ward and Others Despite Positive Activision Earnings Call

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      February 13, 2017 8:17 AM

      Did some snooping on a few developer hangouts it appears most of the layoffs are seasonal and legacy support. Really nothing that will alter development of future COD titles. Skylanders sounds dismal though.

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        February 13, 2017 9:21 AM

        Not true. I know some serious developers that were let go.

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          February 13, 2017 11:49 AM

          Were they full time or contractors?

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            February 13, 2017 12:05 PM

            full time, senior developer. there about 16 months. and this guy has a kill resume and is really talented. I dont want to say too much more, because I am not sure what he has shared publically.

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        February 13, 2017 9:23 AM

        Yeah, friend of mine works at Beenox and says QA was gutted, but dev is untouched.

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          February 13, 2017 11:31 AM

          This is what I've heard too. It was mostly QA and contract workers.

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      February 13, 2017 9:24 AM

      One of my close friends was laid off after being being brought in to make cod more 'fun' and he is a senior developer. Looks like they picked folks based on costs alone. Some with long term seniority, some brand new folks.

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      February 13, 2017 11:35 AM

      Doesn't matter what prior earnings were. Cost reduction is a forward-looking action and generally used for short term EBITDA protection.