Update - According to the press release, it looks like Blizzard cut 600 positions in the company.

Message from Mike Morhaime
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

We announced today that we’re in the process of cutting a number of active positions, mostly non-development, throughout the company. I'm sure this announcement has sparked some questions from all of you, so I want take this opportunity to address those as best I can. Over the past several years, the company has grown rapidly and evolved to better serve you and the rest of our global community. Thanks to all of your support, we continue to serve by far the biggest subscription-based MMO community, as well as the most passionate eSports and online gaming communities, in the world.

In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources. This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We’re in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.

After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we'll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.

I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to shipping multiple games this year, and that our development teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today's announcement. We're continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria. It goes without saying that we're working hard to get all of these games in your hands as soon as possible.

You've all come to expect Blizzard to live up to our mission statement with every game, and deliver the most epic entertainment experiences ever. You can continue to expect that and nothing less from us as we move forward.

-Mike Morhaime

Press release on BusinessWire
IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that it has conducted a review of its business based on current organizational needs. Following a completion of the review, the company is conducting a global reduction in workforce of approximately 600 employees. The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development. The World of Warcraft® development team will not be impacted.

“Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Knowing that, it still does not make letting go of some of our team members any easier. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with the people impacted by today’s announcement, we’re proud of the contributions they made here at Blizzard, and we wish them well as they move forward.”

Blizzard's current development and publishing schedules will not be impacted. The company will announce specific release plans for Diablo® III in the near future, and it’s continuing to drive aggressively toward beta testing for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria™, Blizzard DOTA, and StarCraft® II: Heart of the Swarm™. Blizzard also remains committed to maintaining its high standards of quality for customer service delivery. In addition, Blizzard is still recruiting and looking to hire qualified developers for a number of open positions. Further details are available at http://jobs.blizzard.com.

For press inquiries, please contact Lisa Jensen in Blizzard Entertainment public relations at [email protected].

The accounting charges associated with Blizzard's reduction in workforce are not anticipated to be material to Activision Blizzard, Inc. and were included in the 2012 financial outlook that was provided on February 9, 2012.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Message from Mike Morhaime started by Boubouille View original post
Comments 685 Comments
  1. Knopperz's Avatar
    Diablo3 Release... +2 Months /gg
  1. Errant's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gamerunknown View Post
    Cancelled my subscription. $99m profit and firing 13% of one's employees is exactly what one ought to expect from a "big boy company". There are two reasons why one would want to support them in doing so, or advocate increased cash shop items. The first is if one has shares in the company. The second is if one is an advocate of Austrian school economics. Since I am neither a Blizzard shareholder nor an Austrian school advocate, I find this sort of behaviour reprehensible.
    13%? More like 1.3%...
  1. Doktor Faustus's Avatar
    'Streamlining' is a nice Orwellian word they should have used
  1. Blackmist's Avatar
    I'm guessing that's not a "we have to lose 600 people or the company will go under", but more of a "I wonder how much money we can make for shareholders if we make a load of lesser people homeless"...I'm glad I don't work for a large company.
  1. Azivalla's Avatar
    Blizzard is just like any other company. They are struggling to keep afloat in this economy. Actions need to be taken to do so. It isn't efficient to pay people you don't need. A lot of you need to grow up and realize business is brutal. The 600 cut off is to benefit the entire company. Every other friggen company in the world has done this before. This is not new. This should't even be news.
  1. Dockers's Avatar
    Mike Morhaime net worth - 1.8 billion. He could personally pay 600 employees making 40k a year for 75 years out of his own pocket. Haha.
  1. Height's Avatar
    This is honestly pretty low.
  1. deftones's Avatar
    For those people who have no reading comprehension: The World of Warcraft® development team will not be impacted.
  1. papaz's Avatar
    That sucks for the people being let go.Oh well, hope this doesn't affect release schedule.
  1. Zoldor's Avatar
    Does anyone else hate Morhaime as much as I do. I don't even know why every time he talks I think man I hate that guy. I really can't place it, but there is something about him that makes me feel dirty and sleezy. I think its because his opening speeches at Blizzcon each year prove more and more how little he knows about his games maybe. I dunno something about that guy just rubs me the wrong way.
  1. Tinykong's Avatar
    Smells like someone in upper level executive management took a training course on streamlining business growth, and decided that cutting 600 people loose could be sustained with enough projected impact to money savings ratio. Someone at Activision-Blizzard is heading out to buy a Ferrari!
  1. Frozen Death Knight's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Flaks View Post
    Overstaffed hmmm? They're clearly not making enough money to pay for all that staff.
    Most of them are quite likely in the lower ranks of Blizzard's staff like tech support and other similar tasks. Considering the 2 million subscription losses they experienced last year, the demand for such posts at their company are decreasing. As sad as it is, if you have no work for them, there is no use having them as employees.

    Good to see that you are so understanding of the situation. /sarcasm
  1. Kcido's Avatar
    this affects everything
  1. FlacidGladiator's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by papaz View Post
    That sucks for the people being let go.Oh well, hope this doesn't affect release schedule.
    Nope, but you will be waiting 96 hours to get your character unstuck from a wall in Kara.
  1. Bahska's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by papaz View Post
    That sucks for the people being let go.Oh well, hope this doesn't affect release schedule.

    "Cough" "the company is conducting a global reduction in workforce of approximately 600 employees. The company anticipates approximately 90% of the affected employees will come from departments not related to game development. The World of Warcraft® development team will not be impacted." "Cough"
  1. Erixi's Avatar
    I know it sounds kind of mean and all, but I really wonder if it is from their GM department. However since their GM department is third party, I doubt they would announce them firing that many folks just for that. Maybe some of the upper GMs or personnel that have have mysterious jobs in the company that really don't make sense. Lots of companies have been restructuring lately and seeing some of the redundancy and realize they are paying a person to really do nothing.
  1. Kazlehoff's Avatar
    less people needed because MoP's development seems to be mostly popsicle sticks and crayons... plus rehashed models, textures, mechanics, etcetcetc.

    (this is a joke regarding to how many people were/are freaking out thinking that its the end of warcraft. just in case the sarcasm diddnt come through clearly enough lol)
  1. ManOluck's Avatar
    That guy that believe in the death of social gaming and responsible for Battle.net 0.2

    Greg Canessa.

    he needs to be one of the 600 fired.
  1. Haleth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dotSeed View Post
    I picked these two posts out in the hope that future comments could engage their brain longer than these guys did. Blizzard is more than the people that develop raids or even WoW and simplifying things like this down to "Hurr Blizzard just wants to save 100k a year because they're greedy" is being clueless.

    He gave no information about who was being cut. For all we know they're rearranging teams and wanted to reduce hierarchy by losing managers. Maybe they're centralising certain accounting or management and no longer need project specific staff. Until details are given any assumptions are exactly that: assumptions.

    Edit: Or as poster below says, customer services scaling back due to falling WoW subs.
    I'd just like to add that there is a reason why the subs are falling and these cuts are actually needed. Blizzard lately seems extremely focused on making more and more money from microtransactions whilst scaling back on content, that's simply the way it is at least to me.
  1. Grimord's Avatar
    Seriously, is this community this dumb? They're a fucking business, they're not a charity. If they feel they'll make better profits and/or be more productive, who cares? Greedy? What? You intend to ever work on a game so you earn just enough to pay for a small apartment and basic food? Get a grip.

    I disagree with many things Blizzard and other videogame companies have done, but it just annoys me beyond belief to see all these people talking about a company like it's some bloody charity.

    Do they want to make a profit? TO INCREASE their profits? Of cooooooooooooooourse! It's a business! It's how bloody capitalism works. Don't like it? Don't play it.

    I'll stop playing when I feel the game has nothing else to offer and I'll complain when they implement something I disagree with, not when they haven't announced anything related to in-game content besides some strategic financial decisions. If this makes the game worse, then so be it, they will lose subs and realize it was a bad move. If it makes it better, even if only from a financial perspective, then they have succeeded. I'll reserve judgement for the results when they're actually for show.

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