Today, Activision Blizzard held earnings call for its more recent financial quarter. Although Activision Blizzard reported record growth, 2019 will be a slow year for the company as it undergoes massive layoffs and no major releases from Blizzard Entertainment.
Activision Blizzard announced that there will be "no major frontline release for Blizzard in 2019." Instead, Activision Blizzard will beef up the development teams for key Blizzard franchises like Overwatch, Hearthstone, Warcraft, and Diablo. This news comes as Activision Blizzard plans nearly 800 layoffs across the entire Activision Blizzard company.
Both Hearthstone and Overwatch faced difficult 2018 fiscal years that resulted in stagnating growth. Ahead of the start of season two for the Overwatch League, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack said the "Overwatch you know is just a small part of the overall franchise." Brack says there are a lot of the new ideas for the Overwatch franchise and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says there is a significant content pipeline for the game.
Meanwhile, development continues for Diablo Immortal, Blizzard and Tencent's mobile entry into the Diablo franchise. Kotick says work is ongoing to make sure Diablo Immortal feels like the classic PC games as it targets a massive mobile audience.
The news of Activision Blizzard's growth, and future projects comes off the heels of many lost jobs in Activision Blizzard's efforts to stabilize the company. Though Activision Blizzard is keen on labeling 2019 as "transitional," that transition includes an eight percent reduction in employees across the entire company including from Blizzard Entertainment.