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 332 Comments
  1. Coffeh's Avatar
    Mark Kern told the story about why he left Blizzard when he was asked to lay off a bunch of employees.

    I'm wondering if Mike Morhaime left because of a similar reason.
  1. Onikaroshi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinagami091 View Post
    What I dont understand is on that earning call it seemed as though Blizzard was doing well except for faltering players for Overwatch and thats the main thing he made sure to mention was going to be kept going. Theres mention of the eSports improvements but they just canned HoTSs eSports division driving pro players and streamers away causing the game to really only be played by casuals. The game is sadly losing interest rapidly. They just released a highly desirable hero and he was met with a mild applause.

    At any rate, as I understood it, it was Activision that took the biggest hit with Destiny 2 jumping ship and Call of Duty failing to sell as well as they had hoped. Basically, Blizzard is being dragged down because of Activisions poor performance. Wonder if Blizz can somehow manage to cut ties with that anchor
    OWL is still making bank, they just signed on more teams at millions of dollars a team, this is why OW isn't going anywhere, even though the game itself is bleeding players like crazy.
  1. Biomega's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Broken42 View Post
    “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential."

    That is a direct quote from Bobby Kotick after today's announcement. For ActiBlizz it's not about making money, it's about making all the money people be damned.
    I mean, that's how companies operate. Few companies keep employees out of the goodness of their heart. They keep them because not keeping them would make them less money, one way or another. The moment they think they'll make more money by letting someone go, they usually will.

    That being said, companies are not infallible, and cutting staff isn't always the best thing to do. Whether or not that is the case here, though, is very difficult to gauge. People are quick to make their own judgment and come to their own conclusions, and to ridicule companies' decisions - but don't forget that a lot of people are involved in making those decisions, and a lot of people have a financial interest in ensuring that they are good decisions. It's not a perfect safeguard, of course, but it carries more weight than Mr. Rando Commando on the forums going "lulz Blizz so bad firing all the people that would make the game AWESOME".
  1. Satelliteyears0o's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I'm sure it was difficult for him to fire 800 people and rake in that $$$, what a champ. Get fucked Brack.
    Its not up to him, its up to the executives who then harass the CFO to make the cuts.
  1. Pebrocks The Warlock's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Odintdk View Post
    Just let Blizzard peacefully die already. They've had a pretty good run. It's time.
    You know you don't have to play or talk about Blizzard games right? It's okay to let it go.
  1. col1kill's Avatar
    this is honestly nothing new, its just a bit of a surprise to see so many at once. Remember people cycle in and out of large companies all the time as departments are created and dissolved as needed, Example, all the teams Activision Blizzard Holdings assigned to different aspects of Destiny are not no longer needed so they are moved to other project where possible and the rest laid off.
  1. Animaneth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tehdef View Post
    He didn't lay of 800 people you schmuck. Activision BLizzard employs 9600 people GLOBALLY, and 8% of that is 750 people across all branches of the company, including Activision, King, and Blizzard.

    Don't be stupid, and shut your fucking mouth before you talk bad about people when you come from complete ignorance.

    I was laid off by Blizzard in 2012 after working there for 7 years. This is a shitty day for a lot of people, and you're not helping.

    Edit: I'm sure I'm going to get infracted, but this shit sucks, and you guys are all being shits.
    I honestly doubt about that 2012 firing, but this is the Internet where almost everything is possible. However even if it was 1 person being layed off, as you should be aware, it sucks that does not mean you get to call everyone shit because they critised a high ranking individual trying to apply some sugar to this shitty situation.

    You seem to be unable to understand that there are people who thinks that layoffs are shit, and in quite profitable years, double shitty.
  1. Hextor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffeh View Post
    Mark Kern told the story about why he left Blizzard when he was asked to lay off a bunch of employees.

    I'm wondering if Mike Morhaime left because of a similar reason.
    He was probably slowly forced out. J. Allen Brack is subservient to Kotick.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Broken42 View Post
    “While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn’t realize our full potential." That is a direct quote from Bobby Kotick after today's announcement. For ActiBlizz it's not about making money, it's about making all the money people be damned.
    Companies exist to make money. Companies, including Blizzard, have been make decisions to make them more money. Just because you've made a good profit doesn't mean that your company can ignore potential problems with in it. If you want to be just another parrot by all means parrot away. Its not like other players in the industry are not doing the same.

    Bloat can kill any company.
  1. Grimbolt's Avatar
    Remember when Satoru Iwata, the Nintendo CEO cut his own salary by 50% and the rest of the board members cut their salary by 30% so they didnt have to lay off people?

    A guy like Allen Brack would never do that, because I honestly dont think he has a drop of compasion in his body. Now I dont know the guy personally, so it might be harsh saying it, but his public image is in shreds.
  1. Boomzy's Avatar
    Imagine being laid off by a company that just had a record year of profits rofl.

    Fuck Blizzard, honestly.
  1. RickJamesLich's Avatar
    I almost stood up cheering, until I realized this wasn't his resignation letter
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbolt View Post
    A guy like Allen Brack would never do that, because I honestly dont think he has a drop of compasion in his body. Now I dont know the guy, but his public image is in shreds.
    You don't know the guy but make a judgement on his character. Lol. Toxicity at its finest.
  1. Shambulanced's Avatar
    "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."

    Welcome to late stage capitalism in North America, where you have no rights or value as a corporate worker, and the almighty shareholder must be preserved at all costs.
  1. cretos87's Avatar
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Boomzy View Post
    Imagine being laid off by a company that just had a record year of profits rofl. Fuck Blizzard, honestly.
    Why would a company need 10 people to plunge one toilet just because they made a record profit?
  1. Armourboy's Avatar
    They always make these benefits of being layed off sound so much better than it is.

    The " pay " will be a couple of weeks paychecks, the " continued benefits " will be COBRA ( insurance you gotta pay 100% for), and the " career opportunity and job placement " is nothing more than sending you to the unemployment department to get your unemployment and hooked up to a site that gives you lists of jobs you would never want.

    I feel bad for them, been through it too many times over the last 15 years.
  1. Shambulanced's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Why would a company need 10 people to plunge one toilet just because they made a record profit?
    You must work there, with your insider knowledge
  1. snackfeat's Avatar
    You think you want a job, but you don't.
  1. Boomzy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Why would a company need 10 people to plunge one toilet just because they made a record profit?
    What does this even mean? They didn't lay off PLUMBERS.

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