As previously reported, Blizzard enacted a series of layoffs today that saw hundreds of employees affected. The job cuts hit non-development roles primarily in marketing, esports, and TK.
Blizzard president J. Allen Brack sent a letter to staff today (acquired by Kotaku) that announced the beginning of the layoffs. Brack says some of the teams outnumber Blizzard's release slate and there is a need to scale down parts of Blizzard Entertainment. Layoffs are also expected at Activision and King.
"Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs... Currently staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I'm sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.
The news comes after weeks of speculation that Activision Blizzard was planning a series of layoffs across the company. Previously, Activision and Blizzard worked largely independently of one another, despite the Activision Vivendi merger in 2008 that resulted in the Activision Blizzard name today.
During today's fiscal earnings call for Q4 2018, Activision Blizzard announced the layoff will reduce the headcount of the company by eight percent. Based on reported employee counts, this means almost 800 layoffs across the company.
The layoffs were announced just as Activision Blizzard is about to report its fourth quarter financial results for the past year. The studio has had a rocky 2018 due to a lack of growth in key franchises, and a split from Bungie that resulted in the loss of the Destiny IP for Activision.
Blizzard Entertainment has also seen shake-ups to its organization in the past year. Longtime president and co-founder Mike Morhaime stepped down from his position, as well as Blizzard CFO Amirta Ahuja.
We expect more news to come from Activision Blizzard's earnings call later today.