New reports from multiple sources state that Activision Blizzard employees are bracing for a big round of layoffs at the company next week, with reports stating that layoffs are expected on either Monday or Tuesday.
The new reports state that the layoffs at the company could be in the hundreds, one of the larger layoffs at the company in years.
The news comes as Activision Blizzard, along with many publishers in the industry, are facing a rocky financial quarter with new uncertainties in the gaming industry. Bloomberg first reported the news, stated that the layoffs “are part of a restructuring aimed at centralizing functions and boosting profit.”
On the Blizzard side, 2018 has been a year of cost cutting and budget re-allocation as Activision executives have been looking for ways to increase profit. Blizzard has only been releasing expansions and updates to current portfolio and have not released a new game since Overwatch back in May 2016.
Kotaku reports that some of the layoffs are not of developer related roles, but rather marketing, publishing, and those divisions with Blizzard’s redundant roles expected to be replaced with those within Activision.
People who work or have worked at Blizzard told me that they expect Tuesday’s layoffs to be primarily in non-game-development departments, such as publishing, marketing, and sales. Some of those jobs and roles may then fall to Activision proper, further reducing Blizzard’s autonomy.
Activision, on the other hand, also had a shaky year. While Call of Duty continues to be successful, with the franchise the best selling franchise for the 10th year in a row according to NPD, the publisher no longer has Destiny in their portfolio, reducing their profits for the year. Activision also employees a number of staff to work on Destiny, and many of those people no longer have work now with Destiny all in Bungie’s hand.
Kotaku reports that many of the Destiny staff have been able to find other jobs within Activision, but some are not available to find opportunities.
Two people close to the company told me that there have been a few opportunities for those former Destiny staff to move to other teams, but those opportunities are limited, and members of that department are perhaps the most worried about their job security.