UPDATE: Activision Blizzard has just achieved the best annual financial results in the publisher's history. They've also just laid off almost 800 employees, accounting for roughly 8% of their entire workforce.
"While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn't realize our full potential," Kotick said in Activision's 2018 financial report. "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."
Those leadership changes include Dennis Durkin, Activision Blizzard's new CFO (Chief Financial Officer), who was given a $15 million signing on bonus in addition to his $900,000 annual salary and $1.35 million target bonus. He's worth 800 employees, apparently.
The layoffs will be affecting Activision Blizzard employees from a range of developers and departments, including King, Activision, and Blizzard. “Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate," said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack in a note obtained by Kotaku.
Going forward, Activision Blizzard is going to be taking a pretty hardline stance on game development. Titles or games that aren't living up to expectations will see their investment reduced or eliminated. Kotick believes there's potential explooit the mobile markets and free-to-play revenue models in order to generate even more cash than their record income last year.
Suffice to say, it's sad news for the 800 or so Activision Blizzard employees who find themselves without a job today, and we wish them the best. On a personal note, I wish Activision Blizzard all the worst in their future endeavours. It looks as if they're treading a precarious path in their ever-increasing gluttony, and quality is in danger of falling by the wayside in pursuit of a quick buck.
Original Story: 10-Feb-2019 - Activision Blizzard to Lay Off Hundreds of Staff Following Stock Collapse
There’s a double dose of bad news for Activision Blizzard today as stocks have plummeted to half their value in just four months, as well as reports of mass layoffs at the publisher that will see hundreds lose their jobs.
First of all, Activision-Blizzard’s share value slid to a low of $43 compared to a peak of $84 in September. This was off the back of lower-than-expected earnings for both Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive, causing a ripple effect. It seems the party times and the period of stratospheric growth is over for the major game publishers.
Which brings us to the layoffs. Bloomberg claims Activision Blizzard has plans to restructure the business, including laying off hundreds of staff across the entire company. They haven’t specified which sectors of Activision’s business will be primarily affected.
All of this comes after a disappointing few months for Activision Blizzard. Major releases from the publisher are very rare these days and since September we’ve seen the controversial announcement of Diablo Immortal for mobile, disappointing sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and the upcoming loss of Bungie and the Destiny franchise. These problems are exacerbated by the apparent decline in interest in Overwatch and the continued dominance of Fortnite which has eaten into the numbers of everything around it.
What probably bites the most of Activision though is the lack of upcoming software that’s been announced. Despite its position as one of the largest publishers in the world, it typically only releases 2 or 3 games a year these days. With so few releases to rely on they need to hit with a bang.
An official announcement from Activision Blizzard is expected to be made this coming Tuesday.