Activision Blizzard has announced in its fourth-quarter financial results that it had earned record-breaking profits for the year 2018. The company also confirmed that Black Ops 4 was a huge success, even outselling Black Ops III. But apparently, that wasn’t good enough. Despite earning $2.38 million USD last year, the company will still lay off 8% of its workforce, or around 800 people.
“While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “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, especially with our powerful owned franchises, our strong commercial capabilities, our direct digital connections to hundreds of millions of players, and our extraordinarily talented employees.”
Across The Board
According to a note obtained by Kotaku, layoffs will occur all across the company. But more specifically, the people most likely to lose their job are those employed in non-development areas. This includes such departments like publishing or marketing.
“Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs,” wrote J. Allen Brack in the obtained note. “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.”
It is possible that the rough split between Bungie and Activision was one of the leading factors in the layoffs. Activision surely had a sizable marketing staff responsible for Destiny 2. As such, now that Bungie owns all rights to the game, it must have left quite a few people without a game to work with. Bungie was reportedly happy with the success of Destiny 2‘s Forsaken expansion. Activision, however, was not.
“Now while Forsaken is a high-quality expansion with strong engagement and new modes of play, it did not achieve our commercial expectations, and there’s still work to do to fully reengage the core Destiny fan base,” Activision Blizzard COO Coddy Johnson said.
It was confirmed via the note that those laid off will receive “a comprehensive severance package.” The package includes health benefits, job placement assistance, and “profit-sharing bonuses.” Brack wrote that the transition will be difficult, but “we are doing what we can to support our colleagues.”