Activision Blizzard Q4 2018 Earnings Call and Layoffs

Message from J. Allen Brack
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Blizzard Community…

Over the past few months, I’ve met with many people throughout Blizzard, talking about how we create our future. One thing that remains constant: we are committed to creating epic games and entertainment experiences.

Our development pipeline is strong, and we have the largest lineup of games that we’ve ever had. At the same time, Blizzard tries to have a level of craftsmanship and excellence in all that we do. Maintaining those standards as we continue expanding these worlds takes both time and talented developers.

With that in mind, we have plans to add to game development. We are dedicated to bringing you more content across existing game franchises and bringing our unannounced projects to life. Esports and the Overwatch League are also important priorities, and we will continue to produce great competitive content.

To better support these priorities, we need to reorganize some of our non-development teams. As a result, we will be reducing the number of non-development positions in North America and anticipate a related process in our regional offices over the coming months subject to local requirements. This was an extremely difficult decision, and we want to acknowledge the effort of everyone who has contributed to Blizzard. To assist with the transition, we are offering each impacted employee a severance package that includes additional pay, benefits continuation, and career and recruiting support to help them find their next opportunity. These people are members of the Blizzard family—they’ve cared deeply and contributed greatly to our work here and we are extremely grateful for all they’ve done.

As difficult as some of these organizational changes are, I am confident in Blizzard’s future and we will continue working hard to live up to not only our mission, but your expectations. We look forward to sharing everything with you when it’s ready.

J. Allen Brack
This article was originally published in forum thread: Message from J. Allen Brack started by chaud View original post
Comments 334 Comments
  1. Zuvio's Avatar
    The biggest mistake these big gaming companies ever made was trying to 'get in touch with their playerbase' in order to 'listen to their feedback' and making sure 'everyone was heard'. For those detrimental tasks you need a large pile of paid forum-posters and 'social media strategists'. And then they realize that they've opened the floodgates and need more and more of these 'communication experts' to counter the ever increasing toxic cry-baby herds that live on those forums. You're paying good shareholder's money to an ever-increasing army of non-developers which bring in absolutely zero revenue for the game's investors, you know, the people who actually invest in the companies so they can make games for us.

    Blizzard is finally cutting off the useless fat of the way too large group of paid non-developers so they can hopefully once again bring us decent quality content for the games we are paying money for to play. Too many people do not see that. Also, there are lots of lists of gaming companies posting jobs for the laid-off people. Those positions are not for non-developers, they're all about coding, designing and managing infrastructure. You know, useful stuff when you want to make games. None of these postings are about full time positions as 'brand-forwarding social media marketing expert strategists', whatever the hell that even means.

    I do not want to say learn to code, because it is not a job everyone likes or wants to do and you have to respect that. And of course being laid off sucks and puts you in a financial situation. But you can not whine about a commercial stock-driven nasdaq company about wanting to make more money so they're restructuring staff to focus more on the departments that actually enable them to make money.
  1. Bluthsbananas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by DoomReaver View Post
    I don't care about any of this as long as I get good games to play. As a consumer that is all that matters.
    you are a huge piece of shit then.
  1. Anoikis's Avatar
    Just one question for Brack, why isn't Golden on the "Got Fired" list?
  1. Boreal's Avatar
    1. Hire new CFO.
    2. Give him $15 million.
    3. Fire 800 peeps cause why not, they probably cost too much anyway.
  1. sabon's Avatar
    Complain all you want but you cucks are still going to log in tomorrow to get your dailies done. If you want to prove a point, do something about it.
  1. Shakou's Avatar
    Y'all, they laid off Ythisens.
  1. Bloodia87's Avatar
    you can simply do this ...Learn from your past and build games the way you did with vanilla wow wc3 etch. where the hell is that pation and creativity?WE LOVED OLDSCHOOL blizzard ...now we are forced to accept a profit company (activision)
  1. Eapoe's Avatar
    I’m not complaining. Yes, it sucks people are losing their jobs, but it’s also a fact of life that sometimes these things happen. People have been hoping for the downfall of Blizz and making countless forum threads about the game dying and the company having problems. This is a side effect of those topics.
    Guess what, sales go down, companies cut people.
    I’m just honestly surprised we heard anything about it. Imagine all the other companies in the world that have fired employees we never hear about. 800 is a hell of a lot to us, but when you consider the company has some 9600 employees that’s less than 9% of their employees. A company I work for had to pay off employees due to budgets and we lost 6 people out of 45. Luckily we bounced back and were able to rehire some. That aside, as terrible as it is for those employees to lose their jobs, it’s a fact of life that these unfortunate things happen.
  1. THEORACLE64's Avatar
    It’s not affecting development, which is good, but it also sucks for those people that are being laid off. I’m sure they’ll all have no problems finding something new though!
  1. Shakou's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eapoe View Post
    I’m not complaining. Yes, it sucks people are losing their jobs, but it’s also a fact of life that sometimes these things happen. People have been hoping for the downfall of Blizz and making countless forum threads about the game dying and the company having problems. This is a side effect of those topics.
    Guess what, sales go down, companies cut people.
    I’m just honestly surprised we heard anything about it. Imagine all the other companies in the world that have fired employees we never hear about. 800 is a hell of a lot to us, but when you consider the company has some 9600 employees that’s less than 9% of their employees. A company I work for had to pay off employees due to budgets and we lost 6 people out of 45. Luckily we bounced back and were able to rehire some. That aside, as terrible as it is for those employees to lose their jobs, it’s a fact of life that these unfortunate things happen.
    Imagine trying to justify companies laying off or firing people in 2019 cuz "other companies to do it!"
  1. Eapoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
    Imagine trying to justify companies laying off or firing people in 2019 cuz "other companies to do it!"
    Imagine trying to argue a fact of life. As companies lose money employees are let go to compensate.
    The examples I gave are simply that, examples of a fact of life and fact of markets. Did I try to justify it? No. I stated that the company isn’t do well and this is a side effect of that.
    Are you just looking for a fight or that desperate to condemn a company that is going thru something other companies also deal with?
    Not only that, but are you trying to say the economy is so great world wide that no one should ever get fired in 2019?
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Boomzy View Post
    I realize that, but your analogy was dogshit which is why I asked what the fuck you were even talking about. You don't need 10 plumbers to fix 1 toilet, but you can need 10 CMs to fix a toxic or broken community. Your analogy doesn't fit the situation, so it's useless and asinine.
    This community will be toxic to it's end, you can't fix people's entitlement and personality. If they see how the "community" treats Lore (even if he deserves it or not) the first thing they will think is "We have CM's for this?" and the first thing they will cut are CM's. It's because the community is so toxic that it's not necessary to have that many CM. Or at least I think that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ejpaints View Post
    By firing the only community manager we had. And for the love of God don’t mention Lore. That idiot hasn’t spoken to players in ages.
    I wonder why?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Which is why if as a company you find you have 10 plumbers to fix 1 toilet you let some of the plumbers go. Just as if you find you have to many CM's for what you need, or think you need, you let some go. Consider the level of toxicity you are showing towards Blizzard with out understanding basic concepts of business it is clear that no amount of CM's will fix the toxic nature of WoW.
    Exactly this
  1. Shakou's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eapoe View Post
    Imagine trying to argue a fact of life.
    Are you high? This is a common corporate policy, it is not a law of nature.
  1. Eapoe's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
    Are you high? This is a common corporate policy, it is not a law of nature.
    Technically, it is a law of nature. As something declines, it suffers effects of that decline.
    You also just point out it is a common corporate policy but just tried to argue against it being such. Please, just stop now. You are now trying to pick out 1 comment from an entire post to argue to make yourself seem intelligent while coming off as willfully ignorant to seem smart.
    I’m not saying you aren’t a smart person, but your responses are not coming off that way.
  1. Shakou's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eapoe View Post
    Technically, it is a law of nature.
    No it is not. It is 100% completely artificial. There are other policies they could implement instead, such as cutting the CEO's salary. I'm not saying you're a totally ignorant, intellectual lightweight who has no clue how anything actually works at all, but saying this is "just how it is!" is up there with signaling to Blizzard-Activision directly after firing and laying off all these people that you are not unlike Goatse and are ready to take it.
  1. apelsinjuice's Avatar
    All the suits, higher ups and CFOs need their yearly million dollar salaries, company reported to make more profit than ever and they still layoff 800 people while the new CFO gets a 15 million dollar bonus

    - - - Updated - - -

    "Our development pipeline is strong" not a single new game released since overwatch and nothing planned for 2019 besides Classic, maybe WC3 remaster and diablo mobile game.
  1. Nymrohd's Avatar
    I think they fired non-dev employees and will recruit more devs instead? This is classic ABC cost management strategy, reduce costs in non-revenue making activities.
  1. ArenaDk's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodia87 View Post
    you can simply do this ...Learn from your past and build games the way you did with vanilla wow wc3 etch. where the hell is that pation and creativity?WE LOVED OLDSCHOOL blizzard ...now we are forced to accept a profit company (activision)

    No? We didn’t ? Pls by the love of god blizzard never go back to vanilla design. Rather shut down the server before I press 1 button again and get pvp Titels just by grinding
  1. eduwneso's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightstalker View Post
    Remember the outrage towards Mike Morhaime when they layed off 600 employees 7 years ago?
    This biased bullshit is beyond compare.

    https://www.engadget.com/2012/02/29/...hW0hHSM3lvFsjw
    This is a thread of we are all CEO and know everything about a company, as most of them in MMO-C, your post is appreciated.
  1. Cæli's Avatar
    cutting cost with "firing" is simply a result of bad management, also I'm not sure why it gets on the news, there's hardly anything more common in private companies

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