As heavily rumored over the last few months, and eventually announced in a call with the investors, Activision Blizzard has fired around 800 employees (8% of the entire workforce of the group).
The decision did not affect development teams but was almost entirely about management, PR, human resoures and esports.
Layoffs span over the entire group, as mentioned, which includes Activision publishing, Blizzard, King, and some of Activision’s studios, such as High Moon.
“Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs,” Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said in a note to staff obtained by Kotaku.
“Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I’m sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.”
On top of that, talking about Blizzard, the publisher said that “we expect materially lower financial performance this year,” which is mainly due to microtransactions slowing down a bit.
“2018 benefited from the release of World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth,whereas we are not planning a major frontline release for 2019,” said the firm.
So, we should not expect Diablo 4 news or anything else “major” as a new Overwatch could be during the year.
Anyway, Blizzard keeps working on Diablo Immortal for mobile devices and Warcraft 3 Reforged, a remake for the classic cult, for PC. Both are coming in 2019.