Unfortunately, 600 people today lost their jobs at Blizzard entertainment. 90 percent of them were not in the game development a statement from Activision Blizzard reads. The company was quick to say that titles such as World of Warcraft will not be affected and their schedules for both developing and publishing will not see any change.
“Over the last several years, we’ve grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community. However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we’ve also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company.”
Hooray, your games are still going to be out on time but having 600 people out of the job is definitely nothing to cheer about. Since the majority of them were not in development, you can assume that most of the employees were in customer service or quality assurance.
Vox Games did some investigating on the manner and contacted a former employee of Activision Blizzard. The employee stated that the layoffs are primarily in the company’s customer service department. The automation of customer services — such as the reclaiming of compromised user accounts — led to a drastically increased efficiency of each customer service representative. That in combination with the decreasing numbers of World of Warcraft subscribers, Blizzard decided that the need for that many representatives was an excess of man power, the source explains.
On Blizzard’s Battle.net forums, president Mike Morhaime provided a more information regarding the layoffs:
“In order to keep making epic game content while serving players effectively, we have to be smart about how we manage our resources,” Morhaime said. “This means we sometimes have to make difficult decisions about how to best maintain the health of the company. We’re in the process of making some of those hard decisions now.”