Activision Blizzard Q4 2018 Earnings Call and Layoffs
Kotaku is reporting that Activision Blizzard is cutting positions across its organizations, including Blizzard. Layoffs at Blizzard are limited to non-development teams, both in the US and regional offices.

  • Activision transferred publishing rights for Destiny back to Bungie earlier this year.
  • Blizzard had 35M MAUs in the quarter, as Overwatch and Hearthstone saw stability and World of Warcraft saw expected declines post the expansion release this summer.
  • Activision Blizzard wants to de-prioritize games and initiatives that aren't meeting expectations
  • Activision Blizzard will be reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs.
  • Investing more for biggest, internally-owned franchises.
  • More upfront releases, in-game content, mobile, and geographic expansion.
  • Investments in esports leagues and advertising
  • 20% increase in development resources in aggregate for Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo.
  • World of Warcraft already has a regular cadence of releases and content.
  • Diablo's headcount will grow substantially, as the teams work on multiple projects.
  • There are multiple mobile projects underway across Activision Blizzard.
  • Roughly 8% of staff were laid off.
  • Lots of great people are looking for work:

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard said “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential. 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.”
This article was originally published in forum thread: Activision Blizzard Q4 2018 Earnings Call and Layoffs started by chaud View original post
Comments 230 Comments
  1. Monkeymootwo's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycann View Post
    If I had to guess...
    RIP WoW
    Did you even read it?
  1. SinR's Avatar
    I need a picture of Bobby Kotick, a picture of an Infinity Gauntlet, and a legit copy of Photoshop.

  1. KainneAbsolute's Avatar
    Blizzard developers were lazy and they wanted to promote their games a lot without developing new games or bringing meaningful new content.
  1. FeedsOnDevTears's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Huatar View Post
    Kotick's only goal in life is to make all of the money in the world. "More money than ever" is not enough for him. He wants all of it.
  1. Th3Scourge's Avatar
    At least the guys let go don't need to learn to code
  1. Celista's Avatar
    People still play Candy Crush?
  1. Aggrophobic's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by dblanch369 View Post
    If they should have fired anyone, it should be Ion Hazzikostas. Not Ythisens. I am further disgusted by Activision yet again. Blizzard needs to be back on its own.
    So you mean like in the Super Nintendo days? I doubt you were even alive back when Blizzard was on its own.
  1. Knaar's Avatar
    When i read they have many mobile games in the making... that cant be good...
  1. Gref's Avatar
    man...reading those blizzard titles together with candy crush... I feel like puking.
  1. Beet's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MoanaLisa View Post
    You mean "back on its own" when they released Rock 'n Roll Racing? They haven't been "on their own" since sometime in the 1990s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggrophobic View Post
    So you mean like in the Super Nintendo days? I doubt you were even alive back when Blizzard was on its own.
    You know he meant pre Activision. When they were under Vivendi things were different. There’s been many many employees who stated how Vivendi never pressured them on anything. Activision however remains a force hovering above. Especially after 2013 when Vivendi sold their majority shares to Activision and no longer had the power.

    It doesn’t even matter though now. The Blizzard of today isn’t the Blizzard of old any longer. A split from Activision wouldn’t matter now.

    I do wonder how things would look today if some of Vivendi had managed to get Kotick fired like they wanted to in 2013. Basically Kotick threatened to quit if he wasn’t backed by Activision to buy the majority stocks from Vivendi. At least according to an old polygon article I recently read.
  1. Dawon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Saeran View Post
    Billions of $ in profits and lay people off... I know plenty about capitalism fella...
    No you dont if you make statements like that. Business = trying to maximize profit. It's not a freaking charity! I feel sorry for the people involved but all stupid comments like "oh they earn enough" or "ceo can share his money", dont know shit how businesses work. I wont even try to explain to you people that only wanna go communism on the world, it simply does not work that way and never will.
  1. Ophenia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ainyan View Post
    Except they literally listed Warcraft in their list of games gaining additional support.
    Warcraft doesn't necessarily means World of Warcraft.
  1. Felixon's Avatar
    If what he is saying is true,well,actually, I applaud to this man. Applaud,because he managed to sell a total shit with a profit.
    Now I realize,that making the Hearthstone available on mobile was the first step, then the mission table application, now Diablo. Soon,he will announce,that WoW can be played on phone. So,that's where the most of the resources are going - not the story,not the gameplay,but making crappy quality game add-ons available on the phone.
  1. Remus88Romulus's Avatar
    I dearly hope Blizz is getting destroyed before this year is over.
  1. dhru2's Avatar
    And people still want to work there... Well if you tell me you work for Activison/Blizzard I will spit on you IRL.
  1. apelsinjuice's Avatar
    Blizzard is trying to move to a yearly schedule of releasing games, making more money than ever before in 2018 was not enough for them, they layoff 800 people to save money so they can pay their CFOs 15 million dollar bonuses

    making more money than ever is not enough, they need more
  1. h4rr0d's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by korijenkins View Post
    He was a terrible CM that posted meme responses to everything and tried to marginalize any legitimate criticism on the forums.

    Even so I don't think he deserved to get fired. If his job was to defend the company's name on the forums, he did a good job of it.
    As a public figurehead, you shouldn't be ridiculing your paying customers. Especially when they are voicing valid concerns. That's not good PR.
  1. BiggestNoob's Avatar
    Those layoffs don't even cover the exec bonuses and sign-ons. This isn't a move to make the company money, these people were negligible overhead if they have the finances to pay a handful of people more than that. This is an investor virtue signal, a "look, we're doing something!" if you will.

    No new IP development, doubling down on the mobile shit that investors didn't buy and consumers didn't buy, nothing has changed, and this layoff isn't an indication that something has changed. They aren't massively ramping up development, they're not committing to aggressively growing IP and developing games, they're basically saying "we're going to try to chase the existing sources of revenue we have."

    This should be the biggest red flag imaginable for investors. If Activision/Blizzard was a 1/10 investment opportunity before, it's a 0/10 now.
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by braxkedren View Post
    That's not saying much with the current state of BFA. They have to reinvent again to remove the systems they have currently that are killing peoples enjoyment of the game and driving them to other games and replace them with something else. Their current streak of reinventing the wheel isn't too hot.
    Then we as a playerbase have to help them when they do better, meaning, if 8.2 is actually good (for now it seems that way but we will see), instead of disliking because blizzard uploaded a new survival video, we should pump it up and at least return for one month so investors see that the development team from wow is still worth it.

    It's good to bash wow when they screw it, but we also should be mature and praise it when they have managed enough to be praised, if not, we would be helping to kill wow.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreo View Post
    Just hire on diversity basic, that will solve everything.

    P.S. Could you imagine Blizzard in this state few years ago?
    here, a present

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Valehna View Post
    Yah, it was only just 800 people who got completely fucked over because Activision can't get their goddamn shit together. Fuck em, right?............
    those 800 are not only from blizzard, it's across all of actvi.
  1. Lady Velvet's Avatar
    They're on their knees... goodbye...

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