200+ of Activision’s cuts affected Blizzard staff

More details have emerged about the staff affected by Activision Blizzard’s 800 redundancies.

At the time, we were told the layoffs – which affect business outside of core game development, such as publishing – impact staff across Activision’s whole portfolio of studios and subsidiaries, including the complete closure of King’s Seattle mobile studio, Z2Live at the cost of 78 jobs.

After having obtained a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) listing the specific job losses across the United States, PCGamesInsider is now reporting that 200+ of those affected worked for Blizzard. Filed on the same day as publicly confirming the job losses, the WARN filing made to California’s Employment Development Department shows IT staff across 41 US locations were let go, whilst 29 people lost their marketing jobs across Blizzard’s Irvine, California and Austin, Texas branches. 29 were also let go from the Live Experiences teams at the same offices. 18 HR staff were also affected along with 15 staff working for its Global Insights team. Cuts in the North American publishing team saw a dozen people let go, along with ten from its Latin America publishing arm, and 16 across Finance and Commercial services.

11 QA staff were made redundant from Irvine and New York, and nine were let go from the Web & Mobile teams in Austin and Irvine. Add to that five staff from the Battle.net team and two Customer Service staff in Irvine were let go, and one from each of the Activision Blizzard Esports League’s marketing and legal teams. Three members of staff were let go from Facilities team across Austin and Irvine. Finally, seven people in the Consumer Products team were laid off from various US locations but it’s unclear if they worked for Blizzard or Activision proper.

“We are unable to provide additional details beyond what we’ve publicly disclosed," the company told PCGI.biz in a statement. "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. This will ultimately put us in the best position to create epic, high-quality content and entertainment experiences for our players around the world.”

Rumours that Activision Blizzard would announce "hundreds" of redundancies during its investors call were proved correct last month when the company announced it would be laying off 775 staff in order to "centralise functions and boost profits" – almost 8 per cent of its global workforce. The layoffs came despite CEO Bobby Kotick confirming the company "once again achieved record results in 2018", but given the company had fallen short of its 2018 expectations and had to lower those for 2019, it would be consolidating and restructuring, including revising the line-up at senior levels of the organisation.

Game Workers Unite has since called for the resignation of Activision CEO Bobby Kotick.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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