Last month, Activision-Blizzard announced that – despite record profits – 2018 financials were not up to expectations and that 8% of the company’s workforce would be laid off as a result. Estimated at around 800 people, those layoffs would be largely focused on roles not directly related to development and production of new games (though the company says they might still hurt business). A new report reveals exactly how it breaks down on the Blizzard side.
209 employees have been let go from Blizzard in the United States, as PC Games Insider reports based on a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing. 41 people were laid off from IT, 29 from marketing, and 29 from Blizzard’s live experience team. HR lost 18 people, the global insights team lost 15, and the publishing teams in North and Latin America lost a combined 22.
QA saw 11 people let go, web and mobile lost nine, finance lost eight, and the commercial division also lost eight. Battle.net lost five people, facilities teams lost three, and customer service lost two. Activision Blizzard Esports League marketing and legal teams each lost one person. Finally, the consumer products team – which serves both Blizzard and Activision proper – lost seven people.
As a fan, It might be tempting to shrug off these layoffs as “non-development roles” and thus not really pertinent, but all these jobs are still important parts of bringing games to life. With Blizzard’s focus on online experiences, that’s especially true – and well-known community managers with lengthy tenures at the company, like WoW’s Ythisens, have been among those let go.
“While the changes were difficult, they were important for supporting our current game-development priorities, which will serve as the foundation for Blizzard’s future,” Blizzard says in a statement, though the company declined to comment on the details PCGI has dug up. “This will ultimately put us in the best position to create epic, high-quality content and entertainment experiences for our players around the world.”