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 232 Comments
  1. Ungeir's Avatar
    This sucks badly for the individuals being laid off - but it's the right call. This is non-development staff - as a custuomer I'm happy that they're scaling down on the crazy amount of money being spent on e-sports initiatives, reducing the corporate bureaucracy and making sure the resources are spent on development.

    Blizzard has been having trouble getting games and content out of the door - they're not producing enough and the quality is often questionable. Many roles, especially in technical and engineering positions are becoming more difficult and expensive to fill. They need to find the money for this somewhere. That 8% layoff isn't being used to increase dividends. It's refocusing the organization for better production of games. Will this succeed? Maybe. It requires more than shifting around budget figures - it's important that the organization has a whole is trimmed. Getting rid of corporate cruft and office politics is extremely difficult. There's a huge risk they'll fail. But this restructuring can be part of succeeding.
  1. Gaidax'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.
    It's just not the case - ActiBlizz effectively flatlined and 2019 outlook does not look good. There is no infinite growth here.
  1. macphistofly's Avatar
    I notice in that call they're laying off staff but Bobby Kotik and the other executives aren't giving up any of their millions in salary each year. What a shocker.
  1. Walross's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by telygroar View Post
    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.
    This pairs perfectly well with my comment above.
  1. Saeran's Avatar
    Sad day for the people laid off... capitalism at its worst imo.
  1. Doomislav'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!"
    See there, you too can run a corporation!
  1. Krimsonmyst's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by telygroar View Post
    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.
    It's non-development staff. They just closed the e-sports division for HotS and gave the publishing rights for Destiny back to Bungie. There are staff that were in these roles which are no longer needed. This is a perfectly sound business decision.
  1. Benomatic's Avatar
    "Maybe with the new lore that BfA brought, people do want WC4?"
  1. Boomzy's Avatar
    So Blizzard is basically just accepting that WoW is going to die every single expansion and expect people to keep coming back after they kill it over and over for a new expansion. Great.
  1. Voidwielder's Avatar
    Activision Blizzard wants to de-prioritize games and initiatives that aren't meeting expectations
    lol fuck rip wow
  1. Gadzooks's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Vineri View Post
    i.e. Big investments in Diablo China ... Big investments in micro-transactions, games as a service content, etc. Milking existing customers even more, in the absence of new customers..

    More mobile games...
    To be expected, they don't have anything in the pipeline for box sales for at least a year, if not more. Not applauding it, but they're kind of between a rock and a hard place for sales right now.
  1. chooi's Avatar
    So what I get from this is: forget about BFA and Blizz 2019 in general and wait for the next expansion/games in probably 2020/21 when they got their shit sorted out after 'transition year'.
  1. Benomatic's Avatar
    But still, at least those who are worth it, earn their worth "Despite the apparent belt tightening, Activision Blizzard saw fit to award its new chief financial officer, Dennis Durkin, a bonus worth $15 million for accepting the job, on top of his $900,000 salary and $1.35 million target bonus. Analysts expect Activision's sales to slide by about two percent for the year, to $7.28 billion."
  1. FlasKamel's Avatar
    Candy Crush is enjoyable tho.
  1. Dawon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Saeran View Post
    Sad day for the people laid off... capitalism at its worst imo.
    Yeah, better to keep all employed and eventually bankrupt the whole company?! Learn the basics of "capitalism" before making statements like that... jesus!

    If shit aint profitable enough, would you rather fire some and have 92% still employed to make the company live, or keep all and eventuall 100% lose their jobs?
  1. The-Shan's Avatar
    That 20% increase in development resources sounds like good news to me, they are doubling down and solidifying WoWs worth, me thinks?
  1. Hitei's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Voidwielder View Post
    lol fuck rip wow
    How are people so bad at reading between the lines. Wow pushes expansions hard. BfA, Legion, and WoD all sold about as many boxes as Wrath did, and more than Cata did, at the game and genre's highpoint. Tokens and ever increasing incentives for paid services (like allied races) mean that a large portion of sub losses are offset, and despite all the whining about how the game is dead, there will be another 3 million prepurchase/day one says for 9.0 too. Wow is fine.

    They are talking about HotS, which was just truncated, Hearthstone, which has had very bad numbers, and SC which has struggled with staying relevant since SC2 release.
  1. RichardRoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by telygroar View Post
    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.
    "Yeah, we made a record billion dollar profit... But the investors expected a a gazillion in profit so. Time to start the layoffs"

    ...
  1. Bhanzai'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.
    I agree. I work for a large multi-national. A few years ago the company made the most profit in its 200 year history and I had the best annual review of my career...then got the lowest raise I've ever received because of 'regional downturns' in divisions of the company that I have no impact on. That was a wake up call and changed how I work.

    Now I am just a regular worker who gets normal reviews and gets normal raises but don't spend an extra 15+ hours at work each week. So all in all I'm better off, really.
  1. Malikath's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by micwini View Post
    -durrrrr-
    yeah, I'm sure an online game that already has persistent stability issues can take it's support staff being cut.

    fucking tards will eat shit every time, Sparta did nothing wrong.

Site Navigation