We have to share some very sad news. What was reported by Kotaku just a few hours ago, quickly turned out to be true. Despite a great financial year 2018 (with a record $7.5 billion revenue), Activision Blizzard has decided to lay off 8% of their work force, which is nearly 800 people. The last time we’ve seen similarly huge “restructuring” was back in 2012, but it’s worth noting that the company didn’t register such massive profits back then.
The layoffs mostly affected positions from non-development areas, such as community management, publishing and esports. Instead, the company wants to re-invest in development, looking to hire roughly 20% more developers in 2019.
Hearthstone should not be directly impacted by those.
We feel sympathy for all of those who were let go, and hope that they will be able to find a new job quickly.
Over the past few months, I’ve met with many people throughout Blizzard, talking about how we create our future. One thing that remains constant: we are committed to creating epic games and entertainment experiences.
Our development pipeline is strong, and we have the largest lineup of games that we’ve ever had. At the same time, Blizzard tries to have a level of craftsmanship and excellence in all that we do. Maintaining those standards as we continue expanding these worlds takes both time and talented developers.
With that in mind, we have plans to add to game development. We are dedicated to bringing you more content across existing game franchises and bringing our unannounced projects to life. Esports and the Overwatch League are also important priorities, and we will continue to produce great competitive content.
To better support these priorities, we need to reorganize some of our non-development teams. As a result, we will be reducing the number of non-development positions in North America and anticipate a related process in our regional offices over the coming months subject to local requirements. This was an extremely difficult decision, and we want to acknowledge the effort of everyone who has contributed to Blizzard. To assist with the transition, we are offering each impacted employee a severance package that includes additional pay, benefits continuation, and career and recruiting support to help them find their next opportunity. These people are members of the Blizzard family—they’ve cared deeply and contributed greatly to our work here and we are extremely grateful for all they’ve done.
As difficult as some of these organizational changes are, I am confident in Blizzard’s future and we will continue working hard to live up to not only our mission, but your expectations. We look forward to sharing everything with you when it’s ready.
J. Allen Brack