Activison-Blizzard reports “personnel costs” decrease by millions of dollars in Q2 2019

The report indicates that in Q2 2019 compared to the same period last year, there's been a decrease in "personnel costs"

Overwatch's McCree will be called Cole Cassidy as of October 26, 2021.

Following Activision-Blizzard’s announcement earlier this year that it would be reducing its headcount by 8% – or nearly 800 of its employees – the company has just announced its second quarter financial results for 2019 – and it looks like the amount of money it’s saved in the period, possibly as a result of the decision, could be a pretty big sum.

The report indicates that the company’s seen some decreases in different types of expenses in the period compared to Q2 2018, some of which are broken down as “personnel costs.” Between YTD (year-to-date) Q2 2019 versus YTD Q2 2018, “the decrease in general and administrative expenses” was in part “due to a decrease of $47 million in marketing spending and personnel costs, primarily associated with lower marketing costs for esports initiatives and Overwatch.”

In the section covering the “decrease in general and administrative expenses” for Q2 2019 versus Q2 2018, the report says that it was in part due to “a $33 million decrease in personnel costs.”

It’s certainly not confirmed that these “personnel costs” are bound up with the lay-offs, or directly attributable to them. However, given their size, and the significant decrease in personnel-related outgoings an 8% reduction in staff would presumably entail, it seems likely that these figures are at least in part the result of Blizzard’s decision earlier this year.

CEO of Activision-Blizzard, Bobby Kotick has said (via “our second quarter results exceeded our prior outlook for both revenue and earnings per share”, adding that “in the first half of 2019 we have prioritised investments in our key franchises and, beginning in the second half of this year, our audiences will have a chance to see and experience the initial results of these efforts.”