Blizzard Layoffs to Claim 600 Jobs

Posted Wed, Feb 29, 2012 by Martuk

Even gaming giant Blizzard isn’t immune to layoffs. The World of Warcraft developer recently revealed that they’ll be cutting 600 jobs. According to a Develop report, 60 of those jobs will be from the development teams and the rest coming from other departments. The move comes following a decline in World of Warcraft’s subscription numbers.

Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime also posted a message to the community on the World of Warcraft forums about the announcement.

After evaluating our current organizational needs, we determined that while some areas of our business had been operating at the right levels and could benefit from further growth, other areas had become overstaffed. As a result, we need to scale down some of our departments and part with some of our colleagues and friends here at Blizzard. I know that you all understand how difficult this type of situation can be for anyone who might be affected, so I want to assure you that we'll be offering each impacted employee a severance package and other benefits.

Blizzard still has a number of different projects in the works that include StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Diablo III, the World of Warcraft expansion Mists of Pandaria and the secretive MMOG known currently as Titan. For now, it doesn’t appear as though the publishing schedule for current projects will be affected.

As always, our best wishes go out to those that will be affected by the layoffs.

Blizzard Forums

I am seriously wondering where the decision for these cut offs came from. On one hand blizzard may very well be doing this on their own with their own well being in mind, but over the years I have learned to expect Activision to have it's hand in such things.

Lets be honest. Even through the worst of the depression Blizzard didn't do a mass lay-off. Activision took over and all the sudden, people are laid off... Really?

@Defilar - Activision have been in charge for 4 years, as much as I hate them this isn't them taking over and going "right, bye"

But you see, over the past four years activision was in charge we've seen the quality of the game decline drastically, the subs eventually peak, level out and now are in decline. They even lost subs in the most development intensive patch of cataclysm. If you even look at the amount of profits Blizzard makes and the average cost of these "low-class" employees and then tally in the hypothetical yearly amount their senior devs, executives and investors claim and it does not equal to a negative loss in profits, even with their other projects. The only possible explanation is that activision is literally mooching money from their partners, and with wow in decline because of executive decisions made my activision, activision made the decision to cut jobs from just the Blizzard department. Think about this, the new 25$ heart of the aspects took about 5,000$ of dev time and art to make using a pre existing skeleton and animation model. It's first day on the market, almost 5,000,000 people bought that. That is 125,000,000 dollars in one day for 5 grand worth of work, you cannot tell me that blizzard is hard up for cash, so it has to be activision.

Every company has people working in it who aren't doing good work. Sometimes these people used to be good but got burned-out on this particular job, sometimes people don't update their skills, and sometimes an employee is just, plain lazy and/or stupid. A "lay-off" is a terrific way to cut loose bad employees without having a bunch of lawsuits crop up.

Please note that I am NOT saying that everyone in any lay-off deserves to be let go. Good employees can also get caught up in a lay-off because of departmental politics, seniority issues, and so on. A bad manager will often let the wrong people go (that's why managers should be culled before employees are).

In any case I hope Blizzard doesn't make their remaining employees unhappy. Unhappy people do not make fun games.

100% agreed!

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