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. MrKnubbles's Avatar
    Activision Blizzard wants to de-prioritize games and initiatives that aren't meeting expectations
    You would think that they would work harder to make those games successful instead of just abandoning them.
  1. Sorotia's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Maklor View Post
    RIP WoW, it was nice to know you.
    LOL

    Some people....I guess they're going to put more money into Warcraft to cancel it?
  1. Gaidax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zorgulon View Post
    YES! I was looking for someone to comment on that line, hoping I wasn't the only one that saw it! Thank you!
    "Because we only made inconceivable amounts of money, but we could make even more inconceivable amounts of money, we're gonna fire a whole 8% for staff!"
    I think it's more the case that some people simply did not deliver what they were meant to do. Making money does not means you need workforce that does nothing of use.
  1. Niwes's Avatar
    20% increase in investment, no layoffs at development and concentrating on big own franchises... sounds at least better for wow than other statements i expected. even when very very small, there is hope for a better understanding of how wow should evolve.
  1. NatePsy's Avatar
    Bobby Kotick is the scum of the Earth.
  1. Gaidax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrKnubbles View Post
    You would think that they would work harder to make those games successful instead of just abandoning them.
    IMO, some stuff just needs to be abandoned or put on life support. HoTS, Starcraft II and Diablo 3 are a good example of games that have outlived their usefulness. D3 and Starcraft II are simply games that reached their conclusion and HoTS is a niche dead end.

    They need good new blood in their games portfolio, not try and drag dying horse for another year or two before it inevitably fllps.

    They need new Diablo game, new Starcraft game and hell maybe new IP too. I am personally happy they want to push Diablo forward, hopefully new game announcement soon that is not played on phone.
  1. micwini's Avatar
    People saying "RIP wow" can't read. If anything, wow comes out on top with the 20% extra resources added. Also, layoffs were non-development stuff.
  1. mvaliz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrKnubbles View Post
    You would think that they would work harder to make those games successful instead of just abandoning them.
    That's the part that makes me scratch my head...

    They say they're reducing those that don't meet expectations.... but then go on to say Warcraft and Diablo are a priority - when clearly either of those has NOT met expectations at all. >_<
  1. Blade Wolf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaidax View Post
    I think it's more the case that some people simply did not deliver what they were meant to do. Making money does not means you need workforce that does nothing of use.
    Except for shareholders there is no amount that will ever suffice. They want infinite growth which sooner or later becomes unsustainable and i think the earnings call in 2019 will be very interesting.
  1. Niwes's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by schwarzkopf View Post
    "Layoffs at Blizzard are limited to non-development teams,"

    Well that means no resourcing impact on WoW, and the fact they are putting their focus back into internally owned (rather than franchised) IP is all good news for WoW.
    agree. hopefully new ceo allen brack, as wow veteran, plays out positive for wow. to me, the earnings call looks better than expected for wow.
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Littleraven View Post
    RIP Starcraft
    This. Their only IP not to get any additional investment... that's so sad.
  1. RoKPaNda's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Blade Wolf View Post
    Except for shareholders there is no amount that will ever suffice. They want infinite growth which sooner or later becomes unsustainable and i think the earnings call in 2019 will be very interesting.
    They didn't meet your expectations, they did meet Blizzard's.

    D3 was free money for them. They put the bare minimum effort into that game and people still play it every single season.
  1. Walross's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by chaud View Post
    Activision Blizzard will be reducing certain non-development and administrative-related costs.
    I thought you guys would be happy to read this.
  1. BoltBlaster's Avatar
    That sounds quite good. Focusing on development, getting rid of redundant management. The only thing I'm worried about is massive reduction in support staff.
  1. Krimsonmyst's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Keioshin View Post
    They made more money in 2018 then any other year in their history but because they didn't make even more money then they wanted they're going to layoff employees.... This is why publicly owned corporations are just evil.
    That's not necessarily true. They closed the HotS e-sports division, the publishing rights to Destiny were sold back to Bungie - there are probably a lot of staff leftover from those teams that are no longer required.

    I don't like the direction that Blizzard is going, but these layoffs (if they end up happening to the departments mentioned) make perfect sense from a business point of view.
  1. glowpipe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Niwes View Post
    20% increase in investment, no layoffs at development and concentrating on big own franchises... sounds at least better for wow than other statements i expected. even when very very small, there is hope for a better understanding of how wow should evolve.
    they also said Activision Blizzard wants to de-prioritize games and initiatives that aren't meeting expectations. Will you say bfa met the expectation ? It bled subs like hell
  1. ManiaCCC's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Amgrod View Post
    Does "Warcraft" mean WoW, the franchise in general, or new Warcraft RTS resources?
    I honestly believe it means Warcraft mobile game.. Yea, we know they are working on one..so..
  1. Nozuka's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mvaliz View Post
    That's the part that makes me scratch my head...

    They say they're reducing those that don't meet expectations.... but then go on to say Warcraft and Diablo are a priority - when clearly either of those has NOT met expectations at all. >_<
    Clearly they had different expectations than you.
  1. Walross's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by micwini View Post
    People saying "RIP wow" can't read. If anything, wow comes out on top with the 20% extra resources added. Also, layoffs were non-development stuff.
    What, you want people on the internet to read and think before speaking? Preposterous!
  1. telygroar's Avatar
    Sorry, but every time I see something explained like "we have record results this year, so let's fire people §§§§§" I understand why more and more people around the world loose confidence about capitalism.

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